The SPCA needs the community’s assistance in combating dog fighting, and all animal cruelty, African Reporter reports.
Marlouise Abraham of Nigel SPCA says the community needs to understand that dog fighting is a punishable crime.
“In most cases, we find that the perpetrators say they had no idea that what they were doing was an illegal activity.
“They say they just do it for fun.”
According to the Animals Protection Act No.71 of 1962, “anyone who baits, provokes or incites any animal to attack another animal shall be guilty of an offence”.
Dog fighting is defined as a ‘sadistic’ contest in which two dogs, which have been specifically bred and trained to fight, are placed in a small arena to fight each other for the entertainment of spectators.
“Even if people are not making money from the activity, as long as they are making the animals fight, it is punishable.”
She adds this practice has exposed many young children to violence, which has psychological implications.
Jana Volschenk, also of the Nigel SPCA, adds that even spectators can find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
“Unfortunately, it will be very difficult to prove such occurrences without the help of the public.”
The SPCA has a R15 000 reward for anyone who can provide information that leads to a successful prosecution.
“Informants stay completely anonymous for the duration of the investigation.
“We protect their identity at all costs,” explains Marlouise.
In a separate incidence judgement has been handed down in the Tsakane dog fighting trial, where 17 dog fighters were found guilty.
The 17 suspects were arrested after the NSPCA intervened in an illegal dog fighting ring in 2013.
The National Council of SPCA’s said on it’s Facebook Page, “the Magistrate made it clear that every dog has his day and each of the 14 dog victims in this case have had their day in court”.
The Magistrate pointed out gaping holes in the accused’s excuses, and stated that he considered dog fighting “a sick form of entertainment”.
The organisation is pleased and grateful that justice has finally been served for the 14 Tsakane dogs.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 18.
Anyone who has any information about dog fighting occurrences or any animal cruelty can cal Nigel SPCA on 084 485 7029 or email firstname.lastname@example.org