Correct procedures must be followed when slaughtering animals

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ekurhuleni - The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality has appealed to members of the public to follow the correct procedures and respect other people's rights when slaughtering animals as part of their cultural beliefs.

"Firstly we need to point out that Ekurhuleni is not opposed to the private slaughtering of animals for ritual purposes. To do that would be an infringement on the rights of people as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa under the Bill of Rights.

"However, the exercising of these rights must be done in a way that is respectful of other people's rights as well," said municipal spokesman Zweli Dlamini.

The appeal follows recent complaints, which have been received by the metro police, about acts that have been labelled as 'cruelty to animals' in certain quotas.

Dlamini reminded residents of guidelines in terms of Section 4 of the regulations promulgated in terms of the Abattoir Hygiene Act, 1992 (Act n. 121 of 1992), which state that animals may not be kept prior to slaughtering for a period in excess of 12 hours.

According to the guidelines, the animal may not be stressed at any time prior to slaughter and must be handled in a humane manner and it must be slaughtered in an area where the slaughtering cannot be observed by any person on neighbouring premises or by any member of the public.

In addition, the meat from the slaughtered carcass must be handled in a hygienic manner, the meat from the slaughtered carcass shall not be offered for sale, but shall be supplied free of charge to persons attending the ritual custom.

Dlamini emphasised that these guidelines, among others, should not be construed as waiving Council's By-laws relating to granting permission to continue the keeping of animals on the premises after the day of slaughter.