While Eid al-Adha celebrations come to a close, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has indicated that the qurbaan process remains a concern. Following last year’s inspections, in which at least 15 warnings were given to farm owners, the SPCA has this year increased its presence at both farms and private residences during qurbaan proceedings. Having visited approximately 25 farms and homes, the SPCA inspected qurbaan in areas across the Cape, including Macassar and Gordons Bay.
To give us an update on the SPCA’s inspections, VOC spoke to the inspectorate manager at the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, Moyo Mqabuko Ndukwana.
Ndukwana explained that while there appears to be progress in certain aspects of the qurbaani process, the SPCA has noticed that there does continue to be a level of resistance at farms, in terms of non-compliance.
He, however, says that the general public has heeded the call and inspected the farms at which they decided to perform the qurbaan.
“I met people yesterday [on Eid] who said that they went to the farms and saw that it was not suited for them and [instead] found a place that they were happy with,” Ndukwana stated.
Ndukwana further notes that one of the major issues that the SPCA documented was where the farm owner was not in control of the entire process.
“We had a situation where each person would go and put the rope around their animals and say that they want their animals to be done – it was complete chaos. The SPCA had to step in and say that it can’t continue [in that manner],” he added.
He says that in one instance individuals, who were waiting in line, brought forward their sheep whilst the sheep being slaughtered was still bleeding out, which goes against the etiquette of qurbaan.
Ndukwana affirmed that the SPCA is closely monitoring the farm in which these incidences occurred and inspected the farm again early Tuesday morning.
With regards to the housing of the animals, Ndukwana explains that while demarcated structures were constructed, the feeding areas in numerous sites are not properly designed.
“There was a situation where a 20 litre bucket was being used for a cow with horns to drink from. There was no way for which the cow could drink.”
While in the past the SPCA has engaged various Islamic scholars on the issue of qurbaan, Ndukwana asserts that the SPCA encourages the involvement of all stakeholders in upholding the sanctity of the qurbaan process.
“The SPCA is not imposing itself into the Muslim religion, we are just monitoring, so we may have to look into the involvement of all halal bodies, instead of just the SPCA monitoring,” he noted.
Given the fact that the SPCA does not expect farmers to implement vast structural changes to their farms, Ndukwana asserts that the organization is working toward encouraging small changes so as to ensure complete compliance in the long run.
“In three to five years, the changes that you have made will bear fruits. Some farms just used scrap metal, it’s all makeshift and that does not bode well. If [for example] the floors are cemented then its must easier to clean [compared to] a sandy area,” Ndukwana continued.