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SPCA issues warnings to Qurbani farms

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Authorities have issued a stern warning to Qurbani farms that they will be shut down, if they are found to have treated any animals inhumanely. This comes after the Cape of Good Hope (CoGH) SPCA issued six warnings to a number of Qurbani farms in the Western Cape after they failed to follow proper rules and regulations. On Friday, the organisation expressed disappointment at the Muslim community and concern for the treatment of animals on Eid-ul Adha.

CoGH SPCA Chief Inspector, Moyo Ndukwana told VOC News that during Qurbani inspections around the Western Cape, SPCA officials thoroughly inspected Qurbani farms where some individuals were seen completely disregarding of the Animal Protection Act (No.71 of 1962) when handling and slaughtering animals. But Ndukawana said he was more disappointed that these individuals were ignoring the basic Islamic teachings of Qurban.

“We are dealing with people that are not educated in terms of animal welfare. At most of the places that we went to, especially in the bigger establishments, we were left upset by the treatment animals and the slaughter process. In some instances we actually had to halt a slaughter, inform the individual on how to do it properly and then allow for them to proceed. The picture that we are getting of Qurbani is not a good picture,” Ndukwana explained.

Ndukwana said that while many individuals are adhering to the rules and practices of Qurbani according to Islamic principle, the issue mostly arises in larger Qurbani farms which he believes operates much like a production house.
Some eyewitnesses at a Qurbani farm in Macassar spoke of how a bull was dragged on the floor, and how some sheep were slaughtered in front of each other.

Ndukwana has appealed to the broader Muslim community to not tolerate the “inhumane treatment” of animals and stand up if they are bearing witness to a Qurban that is guilty of failing to comply with the Animal Protection Act and the Islamic teachings.

“Any Muslim in the community knows how the Qurbani must be done. We appeal to the public to speak out. It is your animal that is going to be sacrificed, do not let your animal be treated inhumanely. We need the community to turn this around. We embark on an annual campaign during this time of the year but sadly if people do not speak out, these things will continue,” Ndukwana added.

In addition, Ndukwana said many of the areas in which the Qurbanis were being carried out did not adhere to health standards for slaughtering, posing a health risk to the Muslim community.

Some rules and regulations regarding the treatment of animals includes:
-All animals must be confined in such a manner that allows them adequate space, ventilation, shelter, food and water;
-No animal should be picked up by its fleece, dragged, chased or prodded;
-Animals should be restrained humanely while being transported and when being slaughtered;
-No animal should be tied by its legs with bailing twine and crammed into the back of car boots or laid on their sides at the back of bakkies.

Sheikh Achmat Sedick, the director of the Muslim Judicial Council Halal Trust (MJCHT) said he had not been aware of these observations by the SPCA. Sedick further echoed the sentiments of concern, calling for drastic intervention. By the end of the Qurbani on Sunday, the SPCA will release a full report on their observations. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)

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