The NSPCA’s Farm Animal Protection Unit has uncovered another horror donkey killing site in the Northern Cape, where hundreds of donkeys were illegally and brutally slaughtered on a farm in Olifantshoek.

Heinrich Smit and Dawid Pappie were arrested and have been charged in terms of the Animals Protection Act and the Meat Safety Act, following confirmation of a horror operation on their farm and witness reports of donkeys being bludgeoned with hammers and being skinned alive.

Despite the NSPCA opposing bail, both men were released on 18 January and will appear in the Khatu Magistrates Court on 18 February 2017.

The demand for donkey skins supposedly for medicinal purposes continues in our country. Donkey hide contains a gelatine which is claimed to be valued for medicinal purposes: – according to the China Daily newspaper, “having anti-aging properties, able to treat insomnia and improving blood circulation”. The gelatine is a key ingredient in China’s ejiao industry, which produces tablets, tonics and a sweet syrup. The skins are soaked and stewed to produce or release this substance.

Inspector Mpho Mokoena of the NSPCA’s Farm Animal Protection Unit advised that an investigation had begun after reports had been received of missing donkeys in the area. The trail led to the Smit property and the horrendous findings.

“Our concern is for these gentle creatures that are killed in a barbaric and inhumane manner,” explained Inspector Mokoena.

The NSPCA will continue to work tirelessly to trace and bring to justice any operations which abuse and cruelly treat animals. That fact this incident occurred in a remote part of a vast province was no hindrance for the NSPCA. Our determination is steadfast and we will take any and all steps to protect animals as well as to bring perpetrators of criminal acts against them to justice.

We are of the opinion that the Government is doing very little to end this illegal practice. Many people’s very existence depends on the donkey that they own.

May we again appeal to members of the public to submit information on matters of this kind  – anonymously if preferred – to .



The NSPCA, alongside other welfare organisations world-wide, is working with The Donkey Sanctuary UK to help put an end to this cruel trade. Add your voice now to help our donks:


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