A report of dying ostrich was confirmed when the National Council of SPCAs arrived at Beestekraal Farm in Vleiland, 45 km from Laingsburg in the Western Cape on Friday 04 March.
“I arrived when it was almost dark,” explained Senior Inspector Grace de Lange of the NSPCA’s Farm Animal Unit. “I saw adult ostrich lying dead beside the fence.”
“When I returned the next day with personnel from the nearest SPCA in Worcester we estimated that there were around 40 carcasses of dead adult ostrich on the vast property plus around 30 dead chicks. A veterinarian with knowledge of ostrich was summoned from the Oudtshoorn area who carried out random autopsies.”
”The birds had starved to death.”
Five ostrich were euthanased, being considered beyond saving and suffering in their state of extreme emaciation.
Food was delivered for the 630 remaining ostrich (adults and chicks) who were still alive. They are being closely monitored.
The owner/farmer admitted being in financial difficulties.
Appreciation is expressed to the individual who reported this tragedy. The NSPCA emphasises that the delay in contacting the animal welfare organisation led to unnecessary suffering and death. It has been said before and it is again emphasised that no matter what the reason may be, if animals and their welfare are being compromised let us know and the sooner the better.
Criminal charges in terms of the Animals Protection Act will be laid.
The SPCA Oudtshoorn is thanked for assistance rendered.