Vet withdraws from Modise probe

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Thandi Modise heashot INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS File photo: Last week, the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) laid criminal charges against Modise. Picture: Etienne Creux

Johannesburg - Veterinarian Dr Sameer Abbas was advised to withdraw from a case involving allegations of cruelty to animals against NCOP chairwoman Thandi Modise, the Veterinary Defence Association said on Sunday.

“The Veterinary Defence Association (VDA) of which Dr Abbas is a member, advised him to withdraw from the matter due to political parties and other vested interests who have contacted Dr Abbas, trying to coerce him and even threatening him, in order to use this event for political or financial gain without regard for the plight of the animals concerned,” read a statement from the VDA and sent by Abbas.

On Friday, the Democratic Alliance said it was concerned about alleged interference in the investigation into the conditions of the animals found on Modise's farm.

DA North West leader Chris Hattingh said the VDA had confirmed that one of the surgeons investigating the case had been threatened.

The altercation allegedly happened last Friday, when the inspectors visited Modise's farm to evaluate the animals.

Last week, the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) laid criminal charges against Modise.

The eight charges are against Modise as the owner of the farm and any people who lived at the premises.

The charges followed the alleged discovery of starving and dead animals by police and NSPCA officials on the farm last month.

About 85 live pigs had begun cannibalising 58 dead pigs, and were reportedly drinking their own urine. Sheep, geese, goats and ducks were also among the more than 100 dead animals. Others had to be euthanased.

It appeared the animals had allegedly been without water and food for a week, possibly two. There were no farmworkers on the property, no electricity, and the water pumps were broken.

Modise reportedly bought the multi-million rand farm Modderfontein, near Potchefstroom in North West, about three years ago.

Abbas, who performed the post mortems on several pigs' carcasses, refused to have anything more to do with the case.

Abbas, who practises in Potchefstroom, also refused to hand over his report to the NSPCA.

The VDA said Dr Abbas's withdrawal does not prejudice the NSPCA or the public interest.

“The SPCA is in possession of evidence and at least six of their inspectors witnessed the conditions on the farm. It is more appropriate for these inspectors to present the necessary evidence in court.” - Sapa



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