The NSPCA welcomes the judgement by Judge Van Der Linde made in the South Gauteng High Court late last week, whereby it was upheld that the dubbing of chickens constitutes a contravention of the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962.

The Eastern Cape Poultry Club applied to the South Gauteng High Court for a declaration order to declare that the practice of dubbing poultry show birds, does not contravene any provisions of the Animals Protection Act.

The NSPCA argued that the Animals Protection Act is very clear and that it is a criminal offence for any person to maim an animal. By removing any body part of an animal constitutes maiming. Dubbing a chicken for show purposes is cruel and unnecessary.

The case was dismissed with costs.

What is dubbing?

Dubbing is the procedure of removing the comb, wattles and sometimes earlobes of poultry.

Moving forward:

The South African Show Poultry Organisation (SASPO), after intervention from the NSPCA, resolved in its show rules and standards that the dubbing of show poultry should not be permitted. SASPO further resolved that no poultry that has been dubbed prior to 2014 will be permitted to be showed at its shows. The NSPCA thanked and salutes SASPO in this regard.

The South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) supports the view of the NSPCA. They stated in a letter late last year that dubbing of show poultry is unacceptable, and that veterinarians performing the procedure for any other than a valid health, welfare and management reason may be charged for unprofessional conduct.


The NSPCA is opposed to the unnecessary mutilation of animals.

If you know of someone currently practicing this cruel form of mutilation, report them to us on 011 907 3590.

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If you are as passionate about animals and their well-being as we are, consider supporting our causes by donating here.

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