Baby seal beating: Man pleads guilty after caught on video attacking seal pup

2019-07-09 16:17
A screenshot of the man holding the seal in the fishing boat (Supplied)

A screenshot of the man holding the seal in the fishing boat (Supplied)

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A man has pleaded guilty to crimes in terms of the Animal Protection Act after being caught on video stabbing a seal pup and smashing its body against a boat, the Swartland and West Coast Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) said on Tuesday.

Marius Tredoux faced a variety of charges in terms of the National Environment Management: Biodiversity Act after the video emerged last year.

The SPCA had also opened a case of ill-treatment, torture and cruelly beating an animal in June last year.

Tredoux appeared alongside his co-accused, Rynard van den Heever, in the Laaiplek Magistrate's Court on the West Coast on Monday.

"Marius pleaded guilty to the alternative charge which was in terms of the Animal Protection Act," said local SPCA chairperson Colette Mang.

The case against Van den Heever was dismissed, ostensibly because of a lack of evidence.

In the video, the men can be seen on a fishing boat, just off the coast, with a baby seal in a small puddle of water on the vessel.

Tredoux holds a knife and is seen attacking and taunting the seal at intervals. He grabs what looks like a beer bottle, at one stage, and pours liquid over the seal's face.

READ: Men investigated for allegedly beating, stabbing baby seal (Warning: Sensitive content)

The animal is dangled over the water and tries to escape, before being thrown against the boat.

At the time, Mang said they had been sickened at the blatant display of cruelty and it was clear the animal had been distressed.

The fate of the seal was not known as the video was filmed in December 2017.

She said that there had been a trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of the video, which was posted on Facebook by a man who received the video after being in the same pub as the two men.

Mang said the witness was an acquaintance of the men and had overheard them talking about the seal. The video ended up on his phone as it was apparently paired with one of their phones.

He only noticed it about six months later when clearing his phone out.

"We are very happy that he (Tredoux) pleaded guilty. I am hoping for a very stiff sentence," said Mang.

Sentencing was set down for August 7.

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