The SPCA killed two horses earlier this month and left the carcasses lying in the field. The discovery was made by the Bulletin on Wednesday, 25 July.
The exact date of the killing is unknown to the Bulletin at the time of writing this article. In a response to videos of the animals, Willemien Steyn of the Highveld Ridge SPCA responded that “The two horses were in our care after being seized as part of a cruelty investigation. The animals were humanely euthanized according to SPCA policies earlier in the month. As you are aware, the Highveld Ridge SPCA is bankrupt and as such we have been unable to arrange for removal of the carcasses by volunteers.”
The SPCA is bankrupt but continues to operate knowing that they cannot fulfil their task.
There were also goat skins lying in the field next to the SPCA fence as well as lumps of fat. A goat’s hoof that was cut off was also found lying next to the fence. This was clearly animals that were skinned in a manner that is similar to the skinning of animals for consumption.
Earlier this year there was a huge public outcry when a baboon was shot in Secunda. The Article was published on 13 April 2018.
At the beginning of the year, a Brahman calf was shot by the SPCA in eMbalenhle as they were unable to contain it.
The Bulletin asked the NSPCA (National Council of the Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals) for their responses in relation to the shooting of the baboon, they very clearly distanced themselves from the Highveld Ridge SPCA.
In their response to the request for commentary on the videos of the slaughtered horses Mrs Willemien Steyn chose to respond to rival newspapers citing “transparency and accuracy” as the reason.
The Facebook pages of the Highveld Ridge SPCA, as well as the newly formed SPCA’s-Kosmos Group’s page, for a very long time, shows no effort to have animals adopted.
The SPCA, and in particular Mrs Geel, Chief Inspector of the Highveld Ridge SPCA, have taken to threatening the Bulletin with legal action for publishing the story of the baboon.
The Highveld Ridge SPCA’s handling of people and animals have been the topic of discussion for a very long time. Residents of GMM are divided in their views on the local SPCA.
The SPCA’s Kosmos Group shared a post on 20 June that read (excerpt)
“We will continue to be their voice. We will continue to fight for them, to pick up the pieces and to find justice for them. And sometimes, in the middle of all the heartbreak, we have a ray of sunshine, a happy ending. And this is what gives us the courage not to give up.”
The following is an excerpt from a follow-up email sent to Mrs Willemien Steyn in her capacity as Chairperson of the Highveld Ridge Committee for clarity purposes,
“You mention that the two horses were in your care as part of a cruelty investigation. Could you please answer the following questions?
Has the case been finalized?
How will the killing of the horses impact on the investigation?
Were efforts made to find homes for the horses? (please supply proof of this)
Who made the decision to euthanise the horses?
When was this decision made taking into consideration the efforts made to find them homes and the impact on the investigation?
Who actually performed the killing?
What was the specific date of the killing of the two horses?
Please supply the actual policy regarding the euthanasia of horses. (This should be the one that you have quoted below)
Please supply the NSPCA document prescribing the method that should be used to euthanize horses. Please be very specific in this regard.
The management of the SPCA knew about their finances long in advance, why were the horses not placed with someone that could look after them?
Both the Highveld Ridge SPCA and SPCA’s – Kosmos group makes no mention of these horses for a very long time. In fact, no mention or requests for adoption of any animal is made for a very long time. Please clarify this?
Do you keep records of animals that are euthanised? Please supply these records, if kept, from 1st of January 2018. If not kept, why not?
Please explain the goat skins that was lying next to the fence as well as the fat.
Please explain other animal remains that was found around the SPCA camp.”
The response was evasive and vague. The Bulletin was suddenly referred to the NSPCA, the same NSPCA that refused to comment on the shooting of the baboon, nor would they respond to any other questions at the time. Even the question of who the committee members for the Highveld Ridge SPCA are
was referred back to the Highveld Ridge SPCA, even if they are mandated to keep records of such committees.
The Bulletin has not received an answer from the NSPCA at the time of writing this article.