THE NSPCA, situated in Alberton, is currently caring for 74 horses from the army. This is at a great expense to the NSPCA as they require veterinary and behavioural treatment as well as farrier care.
On July 23, the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) was at the Potchefstroom base of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) where they witnessed brutal physical abuse being committed to seven of the horses that were being ridden by the South African Army Special Infantry Capability (SAASIC) Unit members.
Inspectors from the NSPCA were at the base to remove 40 of the 69 army horses. As they were leaving they observed SAASIC members excessively kicking and beating the horses that they were riding. The NSPCA inspectors immediately intervened and stopped all equine activities at the Potchefstroom base.
On July 25, the NSPCA obtained a warrant and removed the seven horses. These horses underwent veterinary assessments and two of the horses had to be euthanised.
“What we find especially concerning is that the members of SAASIC knew that the NSPCA was present on the base and yet abuse still took place. Clearly, this is a daily occurrence and how the horses are treated by SAASIC in general. No animal should have to endure such brutal treatment,” said Marcelle Meredith, NSPCA executive director.
“The five remaining horses are in the care and custody of the NSPCA and we are in the process of laying charges against the SANDF and the persons responsible for the cruelty to these horses.
“This is the second time this year that the NSPCA is laying charges of animal cruelty against the SANDF and SAASIC members. The NSPCA laid charges earlier this year following the gruesome discovery of horses that had been starved and were found in a shocking condition, 25 of which had to be euthanised,” said Meredith.
“We are fortunate enough to have support from Meadow Feeds who are supplying sufficient feed and nutrition expertise for all the horses that have come from the army, but we desperately require financial support for their veterinary and behavioural needs as well as our travel costs to ensure that the horses are receiving the care that they need,” Meredith said.
If members of the public would like to contribute to the upkeep of these horses, they can visit https://nspca.co.za/donate/ and use the reference: Army Horses or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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