By Nikita Sylvester
The SPCA has warned of a new "hobby" that involves youngsters stealing and racing horses, before brutally abusing them until they die.
SPCA chief executive Allan Perrins said that although the society had received close to 200 allegations in the past 10 months about cruelty to horses, the latest trend was an exceptional one.
Perrins explained that there had been numerous reports from people in the Macassar and Faure areas of horses being stolen by teenagers, then used for their own recreation in the most barbaric way.
Bukshi, an 18-year-old Arabian mount belonging to Anthea Myburgh, from a farm in Faure, was the recent victim of such a kidnapping and abuse, which ended in death.
Myburgh said that on a recent Saturday morning, she noticed that Bukshi was missing and heard her Shetland pony, named Pony, calling for him.
She said Bukshi often got out, but always returned. But Myburgh started to worry the following day and called family members and the police, then started searching for her horse.
It was only on the Monday morning that Myburgh discovered Bukshi about 50m from the entrance to her farm.
"He couldn't even put one leg in front of the other," she said, explaining that when she examined him, she saw that one side of his jaw was swollen, that he had cuts in his mouth, the hair on his tail and mane had been cut, and his legs and feet were covered in blood. He also had a stab wound to the stomach and cuts all over his back.
"I have never seen anything so horrific," said Myburgh.
She immediately called the vet, but Bukshi had to be put down owing to the severity of his injuries.
Myburgh said a young witness had come forward and told her everything. Police confirmed that the witness, who came to Myburgh, accompanied by a family member, was in no way involved in the incident.
A police officer visited Myburgh's farm last week and interviewed the witness, who was able to identify the children he had seen in Macassar with the horse. Malmesbury police spokesman Constable Henry du Randt said that four suspects, three of them minors, had been arrested.
Perrins said that the perpetrators sometimes used barbed wire as bridles to control and beat the horses. They would stab the horse to make it run faster. Perrins urged anyone with information to phone the SPCA's horse care unit at 021 700 4173 or 083 326 0.
|Crime Category:||Animal Cruelty|
|Address:||Macassar and Faure, Somerset West|
|Crime Date/Time:||3 Mar 2010, 00:03 AM|
|Reported By:||Report A Crime|
|Reported Date:||3 Mar 2010, 20:03 PM|