On 12 October 2018, the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) Farm Animal Protection Unit obtained a warrant to remove all the pigs from the award winning farm, Ukwanda Farm, in Winterton, Kwa Zulu Natal following major welfare concerns found during previous inspections.
The NSPCA recently conducted an inspection at Ukwanda Farm and the conditions found on the farm were so severe that 18 Sows had to be humanely euthanized to end their suffering. The farm had insufficient food for the remaining pigs. Furthermore water samples were taken from the farm and tested, these were found to be positive for E.coli. Warnings in terms of the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962 were issued which the owner failed to comply with resulting in the removal of all the remaining pigs.
The farm in question is owned by South Africa’s top commercial woman farmer for 2015 (Top Entrepreneur in the Commercial Sector) who has a current pending criminal case, with 5 counts against her in terms of the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962 since 2014. The NSPCA contacted the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to advise them of the pending criminal case after she was given the award, however the award was not retracted. Additional Charges in terms of the Animals Protection Act will be laid against the owner and/or other responsible persons.
The owner was funded by Peulwana Agricultural Services to purchase the farm and in 2009, she had in excess of 60 000 layer hens and approximately 600 pigs. Today, the cages are empty and the NSPCA have removed the last remaining pigs.
The winner of a prestigious award should have been a role model to other emerging farmers, especially women farmers, however an evident lack of interest by the Johannesburg based owner has sadly led to the demise of Ukwanda Farm.