25 emaciated horses put down at SANDF unit

2018-05-07 16:50
An inspector examines an emaciated horse in the care of the SANDF. (NSPCA)

An inspector examines an emaciated horse in the care of the SANDF. (NSPCA)

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The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) has lambasted a unit of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) over the mistreatment of horses.

The NSPCA said that, during an inspection of the South African Army Special Infantry Capability (SAASIC) unit, it discovered 25 horses in such emaciated conditions that they had to be put down.

"In 2013, the SANDF and NSPCA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding which was formally signed in May 2016, but the SANDF has continually reneged on the agreement, particularly the SAASIC Unit, with regards to their responsibilities to adequately care for the animals in their control," the NSPCA said in a statement.

READ: SPCA shocked after dog is skinned alive

The organisation said a lack of adequate staff and facilities had resulted in "a complete breakdown in the welfare conditions afforded to the horses".

"The main herd had no food, the horses had no other option but to eat soil and their own faeces. Food was only provided to the horses after the NSPCA forced the SAASIC unit into taking emergency action to secure adequate feed for the animals due to process restrictions," said the NSPCA.

The 2016 memorandum followed a High Court order on allegations of mistreatment of the horses at the SAASIC in the North West province.

The scope of the agreement included a provision that only NSPCA staff could inspect military animals – mainly dogs and horses – to prevent them from being abused.

Multiple and sustained efforts by News24 to contact the SANDF spokesperson for comment failed to elicit any response.

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