A team of National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) members conducted a rescue operation after a truck carrying 3 000 chickens had overturned on the N12 Highway in the vicinity of Lenasia and Westonaria, west of Johannesburg on Tuesday.
The NSPCA says it was determined that some were so badly injured as a result of the accident that there was no alternative other than humanely euthanasing these birds at the scene in a statement issued.
Swift response and decisive intervention by the personnel from the NSPCA and two SPCAs led to the surviving chickens being transferred to another truck and removed to safety.
The NSPCA says bystanders became hostile to the extent of throwing stones and other missiles at the rescue team and officers of the SAPS and JMPD officers at the scene.
Undeterred and unharmed, the team continued to assist the animals. Damage was sustained to an NSPCA vehicle belonging to and used by the Farm Animal Protection Unit.
Because of their over-riding concerns for the welfare of the chickens, the matter did not end there. NSPCA personnel went to the farm where the chickens had been taken to ensure that the animals were offloaded timeously and handled humanely.
Further examination of each bird took place to ensure that not a single one was left injured and suffering.
As a result, more chickens had to be humanely euthanased on the farm after being offloaded.
Investigations by the NSPCA uncovered that the “end of breeder” chickens had been loaded in Standerton and were on their way to what is known as a cull outlet near Randfontein.
“These birds have been used as intensive breeding machines throughout their short lives, then when of no further commercial use, they were packed into crates and destined for sale in the open air to the informal market. In most cases these birds are handled inhumanely, placed for sale without food, water or protection from the elements.”
“Pro-active inspections are undertaken by the NSPCA’s Farm Animal Protection Unit country-wide. We need public support – moral and financial – to end this cruelty.”
The NSPCA is committed to caring and helping all animals, including when disaster strikes.