SPCA defends animal carcass dumping

The SPCA on Thursday defended its policy of disposing of animal corpses on a Johannesburg landfill.

“In the instance highlighted by the Star newspaper, the animals had not been placed in plastic bags by the SPCA Randfontein on the specific instruction of the municipality because plastic does not decompose,” read a statement.

The Star reported on Wednesday that the organisation was euthanasing animals and dumping the carcasses on a landfill in Randfontein. According to municipal rules any carcass should be buried immediately.

The SPCA did not respond to this in its statement.

The organisation defended its policy of euthanisation, saying that while it was “emotive”, it was necessary due to pet overbreeding.

“We are not responsible for the situation. Irresponsible members of the public are to blame.
Breeding [of whatever kind] plus failure to sterilise pets has led to this over-population. The SPCA will not refuse admission to any animal.”

The SPCA said proposed solutions to euthanasia, like donation to the South African Police Service, finding homes for the animals on plots, or donating the animals to “no-kill” organisations did not take into account the “sad reality”.

“We have been challenged with statements that there are alternates such as donating dogs to the SAPS. Dogs which “fail” [police training] ... are donated to the SPCA and over 100 dogs were recently received from the SAPS.”

The SPCA said animals donated to “no-kill” organisations were simply passed along to other SPCAs where they were euthanased. Donating animals to “small plots” was also not a real solution.

“We know that animals given to people who find homes for them on plots have ended up in other parts of Africa, having been sold to security companies.

“There are worse fates than euthanasia, including the use of dogs in fights or as bait to train fighting dogs. This too is the sad reality.”

The SPCA said disposing of the animals on landfills was necessary because of a lack of incinerators.

“In a perfect world, each SPCA would have an incinerator and crematorium to honour the memory of each animal. But many SPCAs are struggling to survive financially.”

The organisation said the global economic downturn had adversely affected its fundraising, forcing it to prioritise living animals.—Sapa

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