3 Chickens Rescued from Cruel “Ritual” Drowning at Blouberg Beach

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Three chickens have been saved from a horrific act of cruelty, thanks to the vigilance of an alert bystander and the swift intervention of a Tableview Community Policing Forum (CPF) representative. The incident also led to the arrest of two women on charges of animal cruelty.

The ordeal began when the bystander noticed the chickens, with their legs bound, being placed in the ocean just beyond the shoreline, where the waves repeatedly broke over them. The birds were enduring a slow and agonising drowning, allegedly as part of a ritual cleansing ceremony.

Inspector Rowan Davids of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA responded immediately, seizing the three broiler hens. Two of the chickens were on the brink of death. The chickens were rushed them to the nearest veterinary clinic, where emergency first aid was administered. The two most critical chickens were revived and stabilised, and then all three were transported to the SPCA’s animal hospital. At the hospital, their feathers were dried, and they were placed next to a warm heater on a blanket pile to recover. There is a very real threat of pneumonia developing and they remain in our hospital for ongoing care.

While South Africa’s Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion, all practices must still comply with the law. The Animals Protection Act No. 71 of 1962 and the City of Cape Town By-Laws* regulate the humane treatment of animals, even in religious contexts. It is with respect to the constitution and the beliefs of all South Africans that the SPCA oversees the practise of religious slaughter that forms part of many belief systems, to ensure that it complies with the law.

The two women involved in the incident were arrested and charged with animal cruelty at the Tableview Police Station. They were retained in custody and make their first appearance in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court today.

We appreciate, as always, the vigilance of the public, the willingness of CPF and the support of SAPS in matters pertaining to animal cruelty.

*Please see chapter 2 point 32. Keeping and slaughtering of animals for religious, cultural, ceremonial and own consumption purposes via this link for more info on the By Laws https://capespca.co.za/services/inspectorate-department/animal-keeping-by-law-2021/

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