The Sandton SPCA, together with the Johannesburg Metro Police Department, recently brought traffic on the M1 highway, southbound before the Corlett Drive off-ramp, to a standstill.
The reason was due to a broken-down truck that was transporting chickens, Sandton Chronicle reports.
According to Jaco Pieterse, general manager at the Sandton SPCA, the truck was not roadworthy as all of its tyres were badly worn and, as a result, the right front tyre burst.
“The driver of the truck did not have a spare wheel nor a working jack – for this reason, the wheel could not be changed. The truck was stranded next to the road for more than two hours.”
The issue was reported by a member of the public and inspectors were dispatched to the scene where about 450 chickens were taken to the Sandton SPCA for safekeeping.
Pieterse said the chickens were en route to Hillbrow. “There are no proper facilities in Hillbrow to house these chickens and they would have ended up in a basement.
“It is illegal to transport chickens like that if the animals are suffering. Transporting chickens in proper poultry crates is acceptable, however, the crates must be in good repair. Some of the crates were broken and not in good repair, subjecting the chickens to suffering.”
Pieterse said the main issue is that the truck being used was not roadworthy, there was no spare wheel nor working jack. “When transporting animals you must make special provisions for emergency cases like these to ensure that the vehicle is in good working condition, that a spare tyre is available and that the jack is in good working order.
“We gave them an opportunity to arrange for alternative transportation which never arrived.”
He continued that some of the chickens were in poor shape and that these chickens come from the poultry industry after they no longer produce eggs and are no longer profitable. “They are then sold as scrap and taken to informal areas where they are sold next to the road or slaughtered in illegal abattoirs as a cheap form of food for the poor.”
Pieterse said the chickens were on their way to the same basement the SPCA had removed a large number of chickens from last year, as reported in the article, SPCA raids illegal chicken abattoir.
“An illegal abattoir is operating in this basement. We will be pressing charges for animal cruelty in terms of the Animals Protection Act for this case as well.
“There is no consideration for the well-being of the chickens and, in most cases, these chickens are kept in very poor conditions and slaughtered in the most inhumane manner imaginable.”