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Cape Town -
Animal rights activists are planning to protest at Parliament against the neglect of animals on a North West farm owned by National Council of Provinces chairwoman Thandi Modise.
Nikki Elliot decided to organise the “Farm of Horrors” protest, on July 29 at 8am, because “animals are sentient beings”.
“They feel, they fear and they suffer just like us,” she said.
Andries Venter, farm animal protection unit manager for the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA), said he is currently building a docket to be submitted to police.
They ask that the matter be moved to regional court where sentencing is much higher with a potential fine of up to R300 000 or 15 years’ imprisonment, because of the “severity of the case”, rather than the “status of the owner”.
Venter said the criminal charges relate to general neglect of animals, failure to render veterinary treatment, starvation, confining animals in cruel conditions and abandonment.
“It is something I don’t wish anyone to see in their life. It is horrific,” said Venter.
He said when he arrived at the farm 80 animals were dead, not including bodies of animals found in a pit, and 117 animals were too close to death to survive.
Of a further 130 confiscated animals, more have had to be put down. Venter said this is because of the sudden shock of being moved and receiving proper nutrition.
“Sometimes the body can’t handle it. Some of them stand a chance, but if there are survivors it would be very few,” he added.
Elliot said she has too many questions that she fears will never be answered: “I can’t believe she was not aware of the fact that there was nobody on her farm. Nor can I believe her ‘associates’ were incapable of feeding the animals. Why did the interim worker disappear? Why was there no water?”
The farm was discovered on Saturday. Modise has been quoted saying: “The suffering the animals endured does not compare to the financial loss (she) suffered”, later saying she “loved her pigs” and her previous statement was “misunderstood”.