Animal rights group complains over pigs, poultry

2011-04-12 00:00

COMPASSION in the World of Farming (CWF) has made complaints with Mamodupi Mohlala of the National Consumer Commission against organised agriculture, which it accuses of cruel and unethical farming methods.

The organisation accuses the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (Sappo) and the Southern African Poultry Association of cruelty to animals.

Tozie Zokufa, the SA representative of CWF, said the organisation resorted to tabling the complaints with the Consumer Commission as many pig and poultry farmers are resisting changes to phase out cruel farming methods.

CWF’s three complaints relate to sow stalls, or intensive piggeries, chicken farming and the mass killing of male chicks.

Zokufa says these practices are not only cruel, but they also deny the animals their natural process of life.

CWF also complains that hens that lay eggs are also kept under cruel conditions. “We know that the hens laying eggs are kept in a space which is equal to 74% of an A4 page, which is a very small space.”

He said that such conditions often lead to cannibalism among chickens.

“Chickens don’t eat chickens, but because of the conditions they are kept in, you find that they do strange things.

“That is why the farmers de-beak and de-toe the chickens …

“Our last complaint with the commission is that the poultry industry kills and processes almost 23 million male chicks a year as they cannot produce eggs.

“What we are saying is that those chicks processed into mincemeat could be used in poverty alleviation programmes.”

Zokufa said CWF does not expect changes overnight, “but we want them to set a timeline on when they would change to more acceptable farming methods”.

Peter Evans, a veterinary liaison officer at Sappo, has said that the organisation’s members’ pig farming methods will change in the next 10 years.

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