The National Council of SPCAs stepped in and halted the slaughter of fully conscious juvenile crocodiles at the Kroonkrok Farm in Rustenburg in the North West Province on 09 May.
A routine inspection of the facility led to the uncovering of the horrific manner in which juvenile crocodiles – under 700 mm long – were being killed to provide skins for the fashion industry.
Pre-stunning is required to render animals unconscious before the slaughter procedure itself is undertaken. Visual footage taken by NSPCA personnel at the scene demonstrates that the juvenile crocodiles were not pre-stunned and remained fully conscious during this “pithing” process (the method used to slaughter the animal).
Allegedly crocodiles were pre-stunned then placed into sacks and numbers accumulated until they were slaughtered. During this time they were regaining consciousness. The method of slaughter itself was that a knife was used to cut the nape of the neck, then a screwdriver inserted to mangle or scramble their brains before a long wire was run down their spinal cords.
Personnel from the National Council’s Farm Animal Unit intervened, stopped the process and issued a warning in terms of the Animals Protection Act. A return inspection was made the following day, 10 May 2012, and we noted that there had been improvements but what we witnessed was horrific and we shall be laying criminal charges.
This instance reiterates the calls of the NSPCA regarding the outrageous treatment of animals to provide skins for the fashion industry.