'Dead animals were maggot-infested' - SPCA on rodent supplier

2016-12-21 17:58
The dead rodents discovered by the SPCA at the Feeder Factory. (Supplied)

The dead rodents discovered by the SPCA at the Feeder Factory. (Supplied)

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Durban – Animal protection authorities have expressed shock and concern over the discovery of animal cruelty at a rodent supplier in Alverstone in Durban.

Hundreds of dead and dying rodents, some infested with maggots and eating each other, were discovered on Monday at The Feeder Factory in Alverton, said the Kloof and Highway Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). The factory supplies frozen rodents for reptile consumption.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Kloof and Highway SPCA said workers allegedly instructed to kill the animals told them about the conditions at the factory.

"There were over 600 dead rodents plus dying rats, rabbits and mice. According to workers, the last time that the animals had been fed was on December 16 and since then no food had been provided," the statement said.

The facility has allegedly not paid rent for several months.

The animals were in dire condition when discovered, with several found to have tumours and eye injuries.

'Overwhelming smell'

"Dead animals were found in the same 'housing' boxes as mother animals and were maggot-infested," the SPCA said.

"Some cages appeared not to have been cleaned for weeks and the smell of ammonia from urine in the 'housing' or boxes was overwhelming."

In some instances the rodents were seen eating each other.

The statement said the factory's owner denied the SPCA entry onto the premises and the organisation had to get an order from a magistrate to gain access.

Feeder Factory signage
Feeder Factory signage at the factory. (Supplied)

The owner allegedly told the SPCA it can do with the animals what it wants as he was emigrating and wouldn't be able to be reached.

The Feeder Factory did not respond to requests for comment. The telephone number listed on their website is that of an unrelated estate agency.

Animals put down

Cheri Cooke from the Kloof and Highway SPCA told News24 that the organisation is in the process of preparing a docket for prosecution.

Several of the animals had to be put down as they would have had to go through long painful deaths, Cooke said.

"We have kept all the animals that we could, and as soon as they are in a healthy condition we will put them up for adoption. We would love to find them a home," Cooke said.

She expressed frustration with the breeding of rodents for reptiles to eat.

"These factories exist because people want to keep reptiles as pets. Reptiles belong in the wild."

Read more on:    spca  |  durban  |  animals

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