Breaking! NSPCA Files Criminal Charges Against South African Game Farm Where Tigers Were Found Suffering In Deplorable Conditions

The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) has filed criminal charges against a well-known game farm facility on the outskirts of Klerksdorp in the North West Province of South Africa. The name of the game farm facility has not been released. South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, The Hawks, have taken over the investigation as this has become a high priority case.

Responding to a tip, NSPCA Inspectors began an investigation of this facility on November 28th of this year. Tigers on the property appeared to be suffering from heat exhaustion and were living in dirty and unhygienic conditions. It was evident that their enclosures had not been cleaned in some time. Other issues found include tigers being confined with dirty drinking water, inadequate shelter, and a lack of bathing facilities.

Tigers are a critically endangered species and are not fully adapted to handle the high temperatures that are common in the North West Province during South African summers. It is therefore the owner’s responsibility to provide an environment conducive to the animals’ welfare no matter the cost or inconvenience.

“To keep tigers in these conditions is unacceptable, and in fact, this is a prime example of why we should not be keeping exotic species in South Africa, or any wild animals in captivity for that matter,” Senior Inspector Douglas Wolhuter, Manager of the NSPCA’s Wildlife Protection Unit, said in a statement.

Not only was the confinement a violation of the Animals Protection Act (No 71) of 1962, but the owners also appear to be in contravention of the keeping permit that was issued by the permitting authority, The North West Department: Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism (NW DEDECT). A warning was issued by the NSPCA and charges were filed.

The NSPCA has since contacted the NW DEDECT for a response and clarity with regards to the perceived permit contraventions, and a way forward with the animals at the facility, but have not yet had a response from the Department.

This is the third case since March 2019 that the NSPCA has opened for animal cruelty at a predator farming facility.

The NSPCA will continue to investigate and take action against any facility that keeps wild animals in captivity and contravenes the Animals Protection Act (No 71) of 1962.

Wild animals belong in the wild.

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