The NSPCA has recently been in the news with regard to, especially, the shipment of live sheep out of South Africa to the Middle East. The NSPCA opposes these shipments on the grounds that it is ‘cruel’ to ship live animals by sea. Nowhere do they define what they mean by ‘cruel’.
Sheep are an important product of South African agriculture and the demand (in the case of these sheep) is for the delivery of live animals to the market destination. The only way to get large numbers of sheep to this marketplace is by sea. It should also be noted that shipment of live sheep by sea is not a new enterprise. The procedures have been well tested and approved in the past. And it would certainly be bad business practice if they were all to die at sea.
Dictionaries declare that for something (or some action) to be cruel the perpetrator has to exhibit some purposeful INTENT for an animal to experience pain and suffering. And that is definitely NOT the case with the shipping of these sheep.
The real issue, however, has nothing to do with whether or not shipping sheep by sea is cruel. It has, instead, everything to do with the current NSPCA’s ideology.
Traditionally, the NSPCA supports animal welfare. Animal Welfare Organisations approve man’s traditional uses of animals – like using a horse to pull a cart – or the killing of an ox to obtain meat to eat – provided no cruelty is involved in either case.
By contrast, Animal Rights Organisations oppose ALL uses of animals by man. They are particularly opposed to killing an animal. Indeed, it is the animal rightists’ purpose to ABOLISH all animal uses by man.
Many problems relating to the NSPCA revolve around the fact that the NSPCA, although constituted as an Animal Welfare Organisation, actually functions, more often than not, in accordance with its CEO’s animal rightist beliefs. This is not surprising, given the fact that the CEO of the NSPCA, Marcelle Meredith, spent fifteen years as a Director of the international Animal Rights organisation, WAP (World Animal Protection). And she did this whilst still serving as CEO of the NSPCA. So, every day of her life, Meredith wears two juxtaposed hats. I think that she has to be constantly reminded which hat she has on her head.
Meredith has also received significant donations from the Humane Society of the United States, one of the biggest animal rights organisations in the world – which also trained the NSPCA’s inspectors (at no cost). So, the NSPCA is beholden to HSUS.
In my opinion, the time is long past that South African society should demand a government inquiry into the rights and wrongs of South Africa’s NSPCA. On the one hand, government supports both the NSPCA and the Department of Environmental Affairs whilst, on the other hand the NSPCA contradicts everything that the DEA is trying to achieve.