The Star Early Edition

Skin-and-bone chick­ens at il­le­gal abat­toir raid in Hill­brow

- NOKUTHULA ZWANE nokuthula.zwane@inl.co.za @Zwane_2li2ls

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’

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