In its ongoing commitment to prevent cruelty to animals, the NSPCA proactively dispatched a team of Inspectors and a veterinarian to monitor the Nkandla May Traditional Horse race held in KwaZulu-Natal on the 27th of May 2023. In addition to the NSPCA, CCS veterinarians were also present.
During the course of the event, the team identified several instances of concern. A number of horses were pulled from the race due to compromising conditions. Notably, among those horses included the village chief’s horse, which was found to be lame and was subsequently removed from the race.
The village chief expressed his discontent with the presence of the NSPCA, and others, stating that these external entities were trying to dictate the actions within their village.
The NSPCA’s concern for the well-being of animals transcends boundaries, and it remains committed to protecting animals from any form of exploitation or mistreatment, regardless of who they belong to.
Together, the teams were also able to remove 16 sjamboks, sticks, and whips, as well as correct the use of inappropriate tack, such as improper bits and bridles. These interventions were necessary to prevent any unnecessary harm or discomfort to the horses participating in the race. Other welfare concerns, such as instances of horses being overridden and unsuitable offloading ramps, will be addressed by the NSPCA through the appropriate channels.
While the NSPCA acknowledges the cultural significance and historical tradition associated with such events, it firmly believes that the inherent risks and potential for harm to animals far outweigh any entertainment value derived from them. The NSPCA advocates for alternative forms of entertainment that prioritize animal welfare and do not compromise their well-being.