Disturbing Photos: SPCA makes horror discovery

Mandy Cattanach removes dagga plants.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) and the police uncovered horrific animal cruelty during a joint operation last Friday (6 January).

A pile of dead rotten chickens.

A pile of dead rotten chickens.

“Criminal charges in terms of the Animals Protection Act will be laid against the owners of a property in Protea Glen, Soweto. The team uncovered neglect and cruelty as well as unsanitary illegal slaughterhouses on the farm supplying rotting chicken carcasses for public consumption,” said Wendy Williams, an investigator of the SPCA’s Special Investigations Unit.

“Thirty-two dogs were seized and taken to a place of safety for veterinary treatment. The majority of the dogs were pit bull terriers. All had been living in dirty and parasitic conditions.

“Inspectors involved in the operation were appalled by what they witnessed – dogs living amid piles of their own faeces and being fed rotting carcasses. The dogs were tick, flea and worm infested and many of them had untreated injuries as well as other conditions and illnesses.

A dying chicken.

A dying chicken.

“Two sheep had to be humanely euthanised on veterinary advice due to their extreme suffering as a result of untreated injuries and illnesses. Inspectors had to break the locks of an outhouse to reach them,” she explained.

According to Williams, “The ‘abattoirs’ on the property were unregistered and therefore operating illegally. Inside these facilities, inspectors discovered dead and dying chickens being processed in filthy conditions. Information obtained at the scene revealed that the chickens were meant to be sold to the unsuspecting public in Johannesburg.

“In addition to cruelty issues involving handling and slaughtering the chickens, serious issues relating to public health arose and were reported. Contraventions of the Animals Protection Act and the Meat Safety Act were identified.

The kitchen where rotten chickens were processed to be made available to the unsuspecting public.

The kitchen where rotten chickens were processed to be made available to the unsuspecting public.

“It was also of great concern that women and children were living among the slaughterhouse buildings virtually in the abattoir waste,” she said.

The dogs were being kept in horrible conditions.

The dogs were being kept in horrible conditions.

“When it was found that large quantities of cannabis plants were being cultivated on the property, the police were alerted. They instructed that the plants be seized to protect society from these illegal narcotics. Animal cruelty is seldom a stand-alone crime. Situations such as these highlight the interconnected nature of criminal activity and the importance of reporting crimes relating to animals – not only for the sake of the animal victims but to uplift and protect the community as a whole,” Williams concluded.

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  AUTHOR
Riaan van Zyl
Journalist

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