Horses' throats slit at Zim university

2012-09-05 22:28

Harare - An independent animal welfare group said on Wednesday it is filing cruelty charges against the veterinary teaching department at Zimbabwe's main university after three emaciated, ailing and distressed horses were killed using an axe and a knife.

The Veterinarians for Animal Welfare organisation said the heavily indebted University of Zimbabwe lacked expertise, equipment and drugs to put down the animals humanely. The horses were taken to a zoo outside Harare last month where their carcasses were fed to lions.

It said a stun gun failed to knock out the horses and they were struck on the head with the blunt edge of a heavy farm axe. They were not dead - their eyelids were still fluttering - when their throats were cut, the group said. Cruelty charges carry the penalty of a fine.

Six horses were first brought to the university facility from a bankrupt farm south of the capital, the veterinarians said in statement. Three were taken away by the national police horseback unit but officers said they could not afford to look after all six.

The three surviving horses are well groomed and cared for and recently were used to give joy rides to children at the mounted police exhibits at the Harare agricultural exposition in the last week of August, the animal rights group said.

The veterinarians group said on Wednesday the three horses at the university suffered because the animal department could not supply enough clean bedding, hay, food and water for the horses. Their hooves were rotting in dirty stables.

"All body bones were prominent," the group said.

It said it offered to "euthanase" the animals but authorities accused its inspectors of interfering at the institution where President Robert Mugabe is chancellor, or the titular head of all academic studies, though he is not in charge of running of the campus of more than 8 000 students.


An autopsy of one of the horse's skulls showed the stun gun had been fired nearer the eyes and nose than at the upper brain area where it would have been effective.

The weakened stallion then "staggered several metre's before crashing into the side of a trailer". After five more minutes, he was hit on the head with the back of an axe, the group's animal welfare inspectors reported.

Earlier this year, the state university in Harare, the nation's highest seat of learning, launched an appeal for $10m in donor funds to repair its dilapidated campus infrastructure and restore water and power supplies after years of outages in the troubled economy.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, delivering a guest lecture entitled "African universities as agents for sustainable development" on Wednesday, said the university should not be blamed for its failures because of funding shortages. He said the state should take more steps to bail it out.

"The government can't keep saying it doesn't have money. It means that the system of government is not working well," he told a symposium on the university's intellectual and research achievements.

Mugabe is in a shaky coalition with the former opposition of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai whose party controls the finance ministry and the education budget.

  • tommo.too - 2012-09-06 00:19

    This article is about the mess in Zimbabwe. \Brought from a bankrupt farm\. Says it all doesn't it. Hope someone tries this method of culling on Mugabe.

  • sally.lewitt - 2012-09-06 01:07

    How Barbaric and cruel ffs! Poverty is NO excuse for the inhumane way that these horses where killed. Inspectors offered to 'euthanase' these horses for FREE but a calculated guess tells me Mista 'Chance-a-lot' still controls his 'minions' via FEAR

      sally.lewitt - 2012-09-06 01:12

      and INTIMIDATION.. IDIOT..!!! Turn wheel, turn.. Anyone have a spare pint of GREASE for the wheel..

  • dnxumalo2 - 2012-09-06 04:55

    yeah but thats what cats, dogs ,chickens, turkeys, goats, sheep and cattle go through everyday here at home as well.all sickening.

  • Vickela Mumby - 2012-09-06 05:01


  • angelique.p.ervin - 2012-09-06 06:01

    This is incredibly disgusting and down right inhumane. This is one of the many reasons I still stand by my opinion that the human race are the real animals.... Disgusting

      thabelorale - 2012-09-06 07:43

      No, the humane race are not real animals, it is an insult to innocent animals. Humans hate the World and everything on it.

  • morne.hennings.5 - 2012-09-06 06:17

    What do you expect from a rotten country? The irony is that some readers here reckon Zim is a great place with few problems. You must be retarded or just plain ignorant not to see the disadvantages of corruption, violence etc. SA is not far behind...Disgusting!

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-09-06 06:49

    Its called economic freedom comrade, what we need so badly.

  • kelvin.rams - 2012-09-06 07:12

    Zim wl always b zim

  • sharon.houghton.984 - 2012-09-06 07:17

    This is too disgraceful for words, you judge a country on how it treats it animals! Need I say more?

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-09-06 07:30


  • corrie.delport - 2012-09-06 08:08

    This is absolutely disgusting!!! Those poor horses didn't deserve this!

  • iceman196 - 2012-09-06 08:38

    fng savages

  • Jane - 2012-09-06 09:13

    This is shocking, but what else can one expect from Zimbabwe a country run by a mad, heartless dictator! Shocking that people can act so uncivilised

  • magdie.vanheerden - 2012-09-06 09:51

    What did Ghandi say? 'You can judge the character of a nation by the way they treat their animals.' I rest my case.

  • marlon.roebeck - 2012-09-06 09:59

    They learn from their leader

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-09-06 10:36

    Africa is going to the dogs. Bloody savages. Glad there are still people in Zimbabwe caring about animals.

  • nicolaas.geldenhuys - 2012-09-06 10:37

    Let's slit the people's throats that did it! Yay!

  • delish7564 - 2012-09-06 11:31

    Appalling! The sad part is, it's not surprising. Horrendous!

  • ludlowdj - 2012-09-06 12:48

    If we ask really nicely maybe the US will nuke Africa, it would be easier to start from scratch than to try change a cultural tribal belief system

  • Mashinga.Chikwati - 2012-09-06 16:23

    the fluttering of eyelids is not in any situation a method of determining death. a stunning gun knocks out an animal through causing a concussion to the brain but the animal will not be dead. death will have to be guaranteed by blood-letting usually by cutting the jugular vein and carotid arteries (that is slitting the throat to laymen and women). a heavy farm axe can induce the same effect. in race horses the animals are usually shot in the head and fed to lions in the zoo as well. this article is an inaccurate smear campaign of an institution that have nothing to do with the issues people commenting here hate about Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is still way literate than South Africa and doesn't kill protester en masse as a means of crowd control. maybe we can chat about that before we educate ourselves about the euthanasia of horses

      Audrey Pearl Meyer - 2015-03-10 18:42

      dream on

  • Mashinga.Chikwati - 2012-09-06 16:34

    activists are in their nature poorly educated failures who are envious and vindictive towards professionals doing the job they were trained to do. this pathological trait of activists of all kind allows them to resort even to blatant lies and misrepresentations of trade facts out of ignorance but often times deliberately too. take into account a case in a hated country like Zimbabwe you have this pathetic article as result. SADC is run by Zimbabwean veterinarians you douchebags

      Audrey Pearl Meyer - 2015-03-10 18:43

      dream on

  • isaac.tapfumaneyi.5 - 2012-09-06 16:39

    south africa slaughtered abt 40 miners now thats what you should talk about not 2 horses

      keith.ngobeni - 2012-09-06 21:21

      Those thugs are not worth to be called miners, they were just militias like you ISAAC when you rape and torture those who oppose Mugabe in Zimbabwe, by the way what are you doing in south Africa? Go back to your mashonaland.

  • pngee - 2012-09-07 07:40

    Humankind sucks doesn't it!

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