Four horses, two believed to be ex-racehorses, have been seized from a
Philippi farm after being found living in filthy pigsties this week.
The sties had concrete floors and were so small the horses couldn't lie down. One horse was eating its own faeces because there was no food.
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA is investigating allegations that a fifth horse was beaten to death and buried nearby two weeks ago.
Allan Perrins, SPCA chief executive officer, said they would pursue charges of cruelty against the owner, a known pitbull breeder from Ottery who already has a number of charges against her.
Two of the horses are thoroughbreds - one of them was emaciated - and the others were an Arab cross and a foal.
Perrins said the Arab had lacerations which appeared to be from razor wire or dog bite wounds. The owner was believed to have bought the two thoroughbreds for just R500 each.
Perrins said they would scan the horses' microchips to try to establish who had bred them, who raced them and who they were sold to: "I am hoping the Jockey Club will give us the last known owners."
The club's vet was due examine the horses on Friday.
Perrins said that at the yearling sales, top horses went for R50 000 and up but that the "second-hand" value of a racehorse was often between only R3 000 and R5 000.
It was frustrating to know there were unscrupulous owners who were prepared to squeeze the last cent out of their horses without a thought for their welfare, Perrins said.
Recently three other thoroughbreds had come into the SPCA's Horse Care Unit after being abandoned. Two were former racehorses and the third's father was Windrush, a top Western Cape stallion.
Racehorses were pampered while in training but after their racing days were over they often faced an uncertain future.
Aubrey Jacobs, chairman of the Western Cape Equine Trust, said racehorses usually peaked at five or six years although some could race until about nine.
Most retired horses were put out to riding schools or sent to farms as companion animals.
"But some do slip though the cracks and land up pulling carts."
Andries Venter, SPCA chief inspector, said they suspected the owner of the horses had been planning to breed them.
- Cape Argus
|Crime Category:||Animal Cruelty|
|Address:||Philippi farm outside of Cape Town|
|Crime Date/Time:||28 Jan 2010, 00:01 AM|
|Reported By:||Report A Crime|
|Reported Date:||30 Jan 2010, 19:01 PM|