Man sentenced for neglecting sick sheep

2013-11-25 00:00

THE abuse or neglect of even one animal is too much and will not be tolerated. This was the message by magistrate Pine Pienaar of the Mtubatuba Magistrate’s Court to an ex-restaurateur from St Lucia on the North Coast, who failed to get the necessary medical treatment for a suffering sheep.

According to the SPCA, the sheep was suffering from advanced genetic arthritis, an extremely painful and irreversible condition. Pienaar ordered Johan Combrinck on Thursday to pay a fine of R5 000 or alternatively serve an eight-month prison sentence, after he agreed to a plea bargain. Both sentences are suspended for five years.

Combrinck also may not be in possession of or own any animals for five years.

According to senior inspector Roland Fivaz from the Empangeni SPCA, the sheep was kept in a pen built next to the restaurant on the main road. The restaurant has been sold since, and the new owners had the pen removed.

Combrink pleaded guilty to one charge of animal cruelty by failing to provide veterinary treatment and /or to humanely euthanase the animal.

Inspectors from the Empangeni SPCA responded to a complaint of neglect in February 2012 and found a sheep struggling to walk. Although Combrink claimed that the animal was under treatment, the animal was left untreated and continued to suffer.

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