A charge of animal cruelty will be laid against a Rustenburg farm in the North West for allegedly slaughtering fully conscious crocodiles, the NCSPCA said on Friday.
Spokesman Nazareth Appalsamy said the reptiles were supposed to be pre-stunned before being killed.
Juvenile crocodiles at the farm were being killed to provide skins for the fashion industry.
“The method of slaughter (or pithing) was that a knife was used to cut the nape of the neck, then a screwdriver inserted to mangle or scramble their brains before a long wire was run down their spinal cords,” said Appalsamy.
The purpose of pre-stunning was to render the animals unconscious before being slaughtered.
Crocodiles on the farm concerned were fully conscious during the pithing process.
“Personnel from the National Council's Farm Animal Unit intervened, stopped the process and issued a warning in terms of the Animals Protection Act.”
He said a follow-up inspection showed that conditions had improved for the animals, but the organisation would still push ahead to lay charges against the farm. - Sapa