The Cape of Good Hope SPCA received confirmation from the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) today that the research project by UCT has ethical clearance and is above board. The documentation has previously been requested from UCT by the NSPCA when this matter came to light. UCT only provided the NSPCA with the information late yesterday afternoon. Based on the further information at our disposal we conclude this investigation and regard the matter as finalised. We find no wrongdoing or contraventions of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962.
Response from Dr Lyn Horn, Director: Office of Research Integrity at the University of Cape Town (UCT):- “This project has permission from both UCT FHS Animal Ethics Committee and SANParks to study the decomposition and insect colonisation of decomposing carcasses. These carcasses were ethically sourced, still-born piglets and the purpose of the research is to advance human forensic science, where being able to accurately establish the time of death is very important. Internationally, pig carcasses are used for this kind of research as the model is closest to the process of human decomposition. The carcasses are placed in cages so as to prevent scavengers from accessing them.”