A 49-year-old man has been detained on charges of public violence following the protest action at Fairview Racecourse near Port Elizabeth on Thursday, 17 September.
The man was detained by Kabega Park police and will appear in court soon. During the protest, employees engaged in a labour dispute with a local trainer released 28 horses from the stables.
Farmer’s Weekly previously reported that a group of about 150 to 200 people from a nearby informal settlement also descended on the racecourse armed with various weapons at about 6am on Thursday morning.
Carla Hazel, inspector at the Eastern Cape Horse Care Unit, said the situation was very volatile when members of the unit arrived at the scene.
According to her, a single horse trainer was targeted by the protestors. One horse died in the mayhem and some 14 were injured.
“Two of the horses are in a critical condition. The horses were acutely traumatised, and the injuries included stab wounds, abrasions and bloody noses. These animals suffered severe emotional [distress], and it is highly likely that they will carry the emotional scars for the rest of their lives,” Hazel said.
Senior inspector at the Animal Anti-Cruelty League (AACL) in Uitenhage, Beverley Rademeyer, said the AACL condemned the incident in the strongest terms.