National 26.7.2016 12:21 pm

Benoni Bunny Park legal battle settled on refurbishment

Bunnies at the Bunny Park in Benoni. Photo: Benoni City Times

Bunnies at the Bunny Park in Benoni. Photo: Benoni City Times

The legal case between the Ekurhuleni Metro and the Bunny Park volunteer groups was settled out of court.

Many of the animals housed at the Bunny Park, which is based in Rynfield, Benoni, will be taken to other parks owned by the Ekurhuleni Metro, until the facility is refurbished, after which they will be moved back, reports Benoni City Times.

Read: Animals living in ‘horrific’ conditions at Bunny Park

The legal battle between the Bunny Park volunteer groups and the Ekurhuleni Metro was settled out of court on July 25, on the day it was scheduled to be heard by a judge.

Members of Ban Animal Trading South Africa (Bat) and the Bunny Park Animals 911 Group were pleased about the news, in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

It was decided all the bunnies would be captured, sterilised and kept in an enclosure at the park, at the metro’s cost.

Within three to six months, all the bunnies, except 50, will be put up for adoption, in order to reduce the facility’s population.

According to Tania Forrest-Smith, 911 Group founder, and the metro’s advocate, Modise Koetle, the park will be closed for a period during which refurbishment will take place.

Many of the other animals, including cows and goats, will be moved to other parks owned by the metro for the duration of the work being done.

“A compromise was reached for the animals,” said Forrest-Smith. “We are elated for the animals and relieved a settlement was reached. A main reason for the settlement is so that the case wouldn’t drag on for two years, the animals need homes now.”

Smaragda Louw, chairperson of Bat, said: “We are happy about the settlement. We want all the animals to be free, but this is the beginning.”

Forrest-Smith said the groups would continue to feed the animals at the park.

At the time of publication, it was unclear when the park would be closed for the work to start.

The metro was approached for exact details on the refurbishment, but no comment was forthcoming on July 25.

Also read: Benoni’s Bunny Park closes following health concerns

Caxton News Service

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