NSPCA LAYS CRUELTY CHARGES AGAINST VOI LODGE DKC TRADING
Acting on a tip-off, NSPCA inspectors undertook an inspection of the VOI LODGE DKC TRADING farm in North West on November 28, where they counted 51 tigers. After the inspection, NSPCA laid cruelty charges against Voi Lodge. The farm is situated on the outskirts of Klerksdorp in the North West Province. South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, the Hawks, have taken over the investigation seeing that this has become a high priority case.
Acting on a lead given, NSPCA Inspectors undertook an Inspection of this facility on 28 November 2019. Tigers on the property appeared to be significantly suffering from heat exhaustion. Not to mention, they were living in dirty and unhygienic conditions – it was evident that their enclosures had not been cleaned in some time. Other issues found included tigers being confined with unpotable drinking water, inadequate shelter, and a lack of bathing facilities.
Tigers are an exotic species
Tigers are not fully adapted to handle the high temperatures during South African summers. The onus is therefore on the owner to provide an environment conducive to the animals’ welfare no matter the cost or inconvenience. “To keep tigers in these conditions is unacceptable, and in fact, this is a prime example of why we should not be keeping exotic species in South Africa or any wild animal in captivity for that matter,” explained Senior Inspector Douglas Wolhuter, manager of the NSPCA’s Wildlife Protection Unit.
Not only was the confinement a violation of the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962. The owners also appear to be in contravention of the keeping permit that was issued by the permitting authority. A warning was issued by the NSPCA and charges were laid. The NSPCA has since engaged twice with the NW DEDECT for a response but no response so far.
Voi Lodge DKC Trading farm’s owner is diamond tycoon Michael Chu, aka Chu Khoa, a key player in the Vietnamese zoo Vinpearl Safari’s.
South Africa is one of the world’s biggest exporters of endangered tigers. Almost all of which will end up as wall hangings or skeletons submerged in vats of Asian tiger-bone wine. The trade is so lucrative that city householders in Gauteng are breeding them in their backyards.
Sources: VOI Lodge - DKC Trading NSPCA finds 51 Tigers Tigers bred in Gauteng Backyards NSPCA Lays Charge - Hawks Involved
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