A Bloemfontein man received a criminal record today for a “backyard experiment” on a pregnant monkey, the NSPCA said.
“Gert Jordaan was sentenced to a fine of R10 000 or six months imprisonment suspended for five years in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court,” NSPCA spokesperson Estè Kotzè said in a statement.
He had earlier admitted guilt to charges laid against him in terms of the Animals Protection Act.
In November 2008, the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) charged Jordaan for his “merciless treatment” of a heavily pregnant vervet monkey.
He severed her spinal cord to paralyse her for a “backyard experiment”.
“She had been captured from the wild ... in the opinion of the NSPCA because she was pregnant and therefore ‘of use’ for the pitiless treatment.”
She said the monkey’s infant was removed by caesarean section on October 31.
On the same day the procedure was performed which severed her spinal cord.
This paralysed the monkey from the waist down and made her incontinent.
Her cage was “cleaned” with a hosepipe.
Kotzè said Jordaan was apparently doing “stem cell research” to help people walk again after a friend of his was paralysed in an accident.
Jordaan allegedly submitted a research application to the University of the Free State, but its animal ethics committee rejected it. He was told to rewrite and resubmit it.
He was not prepared to do so and said he would continue the research on his own, Kotzè said.
“A few months later Free State nature conservation contacted us and said they have information about a person who is keeping a monkey in his backyard and experimental procedures were done on it.”
The NSPCA expressed its frustration about cases taking years to come before the courts.
The organisation called for specialised courts for animal-related issues.