Minister didn’t know about pigs’ poor condition

2014-01-29 12:20
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Johannesburg - Deputy Mineral Resources Minister Godfrey Oliphant was under the impression that fresh water was always provided to the pigs on his farm in Warrenton, in the Northern Cape, his spokesperson said on Wednesday.

"...He regrets that this may not have been the case and has committed to ensuring that clean water is available at all times..." said Solly Phetla, spokesperson for the department of mineral resources in an email to Sapa on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Kimberley warned Oliphant to clean up his farm or face losing the pigs.

‘The place needs to be improved’

"There are about 20 pigs on that farm. The environment they live in is not good," said senior inspector Mario van der Westhuizen at the time.

"There is no clean water and the place is very dirty. The place needs to be improved."

One pig at the Kaktusplaas farm was also injured and had two small wounds on it. Another pig was underweight.

Van der Westhuizen went to the farm after receiving reports of animal abuse.

The inspector said he sent a warning notice to Oliphant on Monday, urging him to clean up the farm. The inspector said Oliphant was in Pretoria, but his nephew was managing the farm.

Van der Westhuizen would return to the farm on Monday to check if the conditions had improved.

He said he would take drastic measures if it had not changed, including confiscating the pigs.

Complainant a neighbouring farmer

On Wednesday, Phetla said Oliphant, who seldom visits the farm, was disturbed by the reports but was co-operating fully with the SPCA.

"The deputy minister wishes to clarify that the farm belongs [to] him and the animals belong to family members whilst being cared for by his nephew.

"The complainant is a neighbouring farmer and businessman who approached the deputy minister on several times wanting to purchase the property for pig farming."

He said Oliphant had been assisting the neighbour with space for his horses and other amenities.

"The deputy minister was surprised when he received a call from the SPCA about the state of some of the pigs which was reportedly unsatisfactory," said Phetla.

He said Oliphant was engaging with Van der Westhuizen to co-operate fully with the SPCA.
Read more on:    spca  |  kimberley  |  animals  |  animal abuse

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