The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) announced their second private prosecution by Afriforum involving dairy calves that are subjected to unnecessary suffering.

During an inspection at Malati Dairy and Fruit Juices in 2016, the NSPCA Farm Animal Protection Unit Inspectors discovered that female calves were being confined in raised single calf crates and chained with metal chains for up to eight weeks.

The calves on this farm are removed from their mothers shortly after birth, confined in single crates that are constructed out of metal and steel mesh without any sort of bedding to provide warmth or comfort, and chained so that they are unable to turn around until approximately eight weeks of age.

“These calves are denied freedom from discomfort, freedom to express normal behaviour, and freedom from fear and distress – we simply cannot not allow the complete disregard of the mental well-being of these sensitive and sentient creatures” said Senior Inspector Grace De Lange, manager of the NSPCA’s Farm Animal Protection Unit.

Warrants were obtained by the NSPCA after warnings and recommendations fell on deaf ears. The owner, and his veterinarian, subsequently refused to remove the chains of the already confined calves, claiming that the calves would soil their food if they were able to turn around. Both the owner and veterinarian will be prosecuted.

The NSPCA laid charges in terms of the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962 in September 2016 but the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) declined to prosecute the case, and subsequently the NPA honoured the decision of the DPP.

The NSPCA has in terms of the Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1993 (Act No. 169 of 1993) the statutory powers to privately prosecute offenders. AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit investigated the matter and concluded that there is prima facie evidence to successfully prosecute this case.

The NSPCA extends their heartfelt thanks to Advocate Gerrie Nel and the Private Prosecution Unit of AfriForum for their support in this matter.

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