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SAPA Member Suspended over Welfare Abuse

by 5m Editor
8 September 2009, at 8:57am

SOUTH AFRICA - The South African Poultry Association (SAPA) has suspended one of its members over alleged welfare abuses.

SAPA has suspended membership of Boskop Layer Chicks over the killing of day-old chicks, reports Dispatch of South Africa.

"When the allegation that tens of thousands of day-old chicks were disposed of by abandoning them and leaving them to die in a cement dam was initially made, Boskop voluntarily accepted suspension of its membership pending an investigation," the company said.

The suspension would be lifted when a veterinarian or the National SPCA certified that the chicks and eggs were being disposed of according to the association's code of practice, it said.

Last month, Beeld reported that animal rights groups were up in arms over the chick-killing practices. It was alleged that male birds were being dumped in an empty dam to starve or suffocate because they were 'economically worthless' to farmers.

"The day-old chicks are currently euthanased by maceration (slaughter using a high-speed grinder)," Boskop said.

Dispatch adds that Beeld reported that the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) had made nine charges against former North West agriculture MEC, Jan Serfontein and his son, Jan Serfontein Jr, under the Animal Protection Act over the killing of the chicks.

Boskop said it was taking action over recent media reports, which it described as inaccurate, misleading and sensationalist.

The company said a poultry association investigation had found, on the balance of probabilities, it could not be corroborated that live chicks were dumped in a cement dam as standard practice.

Boskop said a veterinarian had concluded a report into the chicken farm and would issue a certificate of compliance in due course, when the company said it would apply for the lifting of the suspension.