The SPCA will be the beneficiary of a R 5000 fine issued to Riekert Erasmus for not providing sufficient medical care for horses.
On 27 July 2019 a animal abuse case against Erasmus and Featherfoot horse farm owner, Hilmary Enslin was concluded after more than two years.
The case originated early in 2017 after pictures of emancipated hoses were circulated on social media and the SPCA was asked to intervene.
Several witnesses testified during the trail on the shocking condition of the horses. Testimony was heard from several civilians, a vet an inspector from the SPCA, Megan Hope from the horse care unit and Mr. Erasmus.
Hilmary Enslin, the owner of Featherfoot horse farm was found not guilty. The magistrate stated that based on the testimony of all the witnesses, the only mistake Enslin made was to make available a piece of land for the horses to be rehabilitated on.
The magistrate stated that it was clear from the testimonies before him, that the horses had sufficient food and water while in the care of Mr. Erasmus. He found that although the horses was treated for parasites on their arrival in Jeffreys Bay, there should have been a follow-up treatment.
He then found Erasmus not guilty on the two charges related to providing food and water for the horses, but guilty on the charge of not providing sufficient medical care for the animals and accordingly imposed a criminal sentence of a R 10 000 fine suspended for 5 years.
He further imposed a civil sanction of R 5000 which Mr Erasmus has to pay over to SPCA.
The magistrate further ruled that the horses which were confiscated should remain with the SPCA as most of them already found adoptive homes.
He concluded by stating that cases involving animals are usually very emotional and that this was one of the most emotional cases he has had before him.
When asked for comment, Erasmus agreed with the finding.
SPCA ASSISI Chairman, Gerhardt Fouche, who attended proceedings during the past year or so indicated that this was an important decision for the animal kingdom in the Kouga and that the SPCA is there to assist where possible, as well as educate but will not hesitate to act where required.
Photo: Joey Nel