NSPCA lays charges over ostrich toe amputations

2015-08-13 14:48

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Johannesburg – The NSPCA has laid animal cruelty charges against Western Cape ostrich farmers for allegedly amputating the birds’ toes, an inspector said on Thursday.

The charges were laid on Wednesday against the producers and the Ostrich Business Chamber in the Western Cape, senior inspector Grace de Lange said.

After being caught doing it in January 2010, and promising to stop when threatened with criminal charges, the practice was again found at hatcheries in January this year. 

The amputations happened when the nails were clipped a day or two after the chicks hatched. It was intended to stop the birds scratching each others' skin, which resulted in the leather being of a poorer quality.

The findings were made after toenail clippings were sent for laboratory analysis.

South African ostrich leather is exported to places like the USA, Mexico, Europe and the Far East.

De Lange said, if found guilty, the producers faced a R60 000 fine or up to 36 months in jail.

Read more on:    nspca  |  cape town  |  farming  |  animals
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