The Star Early Edition
Skin-and-bone chickens at illegal abattoir raid in Hillbrow
OVER 60 chickens in dark zinc buckets, others in cages and a huge pot filled with water and feathers.
This was the shocking scene that Sandton branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) inspectors, Metro Police and the City of Johannesburg department of environmental health came across when they went to shut down an illegal abattoir in Hillbrow last week.
The chickens looked like they had not had water and food for some time.
The abattoir operated in the basement of a dingy building which also doubled as a mechanic’s workshop.
This operation was one of many to shut downs illegal abattoirs that have been operating for months in the Hillbrow area which and has led to the SCPA confiscating and issuing warnings to these apparent business owners.
Community members alerted local authorities about the dingy illegal chicken business and said that the fowls were kept in an unhygienic area. The chickens were confiscated and local authorities vowed to go back if operations continued.
The young male owner of the illegal chicken abattoir refused to talk to the media.
According to community bystanders in the area, the chickens were sold for R50-R100 each.
Jaco Pieterse, the SPCA Sandton general manager, told The Star the chickens were illegally slaughtered and the meat sold to the public of Hillbrow.
“In terms of the law and the meat safety act, the operation should be registered as an abattoir when they are selling meat for commercial purposes,” Pieterse said.
“We have the Health Department here and the area inside this building is dirty and dingy, dark and has a strong smell inside.
“These are not proper living conditions for animals, let alone meat for people to eat.
“Our main objective as the Sandton SPCA is to prevent cruelty towards animals.
“We issued them with a warning before arriving and they have not complied and therefore we had a warrant from the court to remove these animals.
“We will be laying criminal charges against them.”
Some members of the community were shocked to witness the shutdown of the operation and asked the local authorities why they decided to shut this specific abattoir.
Meanwhile, an elated bystander, Nosipho Ndlovu, told The Star she was glad to hear that the chicken shop had closed down.
“This place is disgusting, they did well by shutting it down. The place smells bad,” Ndlovu said.
“There are plenty of these places, we can’t be eating such meat.”
‘We will be laying criminal charges against them’