R30 000 fine for animal cruelty

A Groot Marico farmer has been fined R30 000 for neglecting to feed a herd of 600 cattle.

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The SPCA reported the matter to the police in 2010 and judgement was passed last month. Derick van Wyk was found guilty of animal cruelty by the Groot Marico Magistrate’s court and was ordered to pay the SPCA’s legal costs. Van Wyk was a part-time farmer and systematically reduced his herd after the charges were laid against him. He no longer has any cattle on the farm. When the SPCA first went there, four head of cattle had to be euthanised due to their poor health and another was later put down by the farmer’s vet.

SPCA senior inspector Jaco Pieterse said they found that the cattle had not been given food or water despite there being food available on the farm. “Van Wyk was very hostile towards us and didn’t give any explanation.” Pieterse said the usual fine for animal cruelty was between R1 000 and R3 000, so they were happy with the fine that was issued.