Johannesburg - The SPCA has shut down an illegal chicken slaughterhouse that sold rotten meat to the public in Soweto, it said on Wednesday.Criminal charges would be laid against the owners of the property in Protea Glen, Soweto, where the Roodepoort SPCA and the National Council of SPCAs uncovered horrific animal cruelty last Friday, spokesperson Wendy Willson said in a statement.It rescued 32 dogs, most of them pit bull terriers infested with parasites and living amid piles of their own faeces. They were being fed the rotten chicken meat.Willson said inspectors were appalled by what they found.“The dogs were tick, flea and worm infested and many of them had untreated injuries as well as other conditions and illnesses.”Two sheep were put down on veterinary advice due to their extreme suffering from untreated injuries and illnesses. Inspectors had to break the locks of an outhouse to reach them.The “abattoirs” on the property were unregistered and operating illegally. Inspectors found dead and dying chickens being processed in filthy conditions.“Information obtained at the scene revealed that the chickens were for sale to the unsuspecting public in Johannesburg. It was also of great concern that women and children were living between the slaughterhouse buildings among the abattoir waste,” said Willson.In addition, many cannabis plants were being cultivated on the property. Police were called and the plants were destroyed.