SOUTH AFRICA--Scenes of carnage unfolded in Grasmere when a crazed mob began slaughtering cattle from an overturned livestock truck. The mob closed in on the injured and stunned cattle and began hacking the still alive animals. When the NSPCA and the media arrived they were greeted by the grisly sight of dying and bloodied cattle.
A truck transporting about a hundred cattle had overturned near the Grasmere toll plaza on the N1 highway. The wild mob used knives and sharp objects to hack flesh from the live cattle. Buckets were used to carry flesh and other bloody remains.
“Some animals were unable to escape and were stolen and slaughtered by the frenzied crowd,” said Andries Venter of the NSPCA. “The cruel and inhumane acts of the mob must be condemned.”
Community members intentionally overturned the livestock trailer. Rocks were thrown from an overhead bridge as the animal transporter passed beneath. The driver lost control when rocks struck the windscreen causing the truck to overturn. Both the driver and the co-driver were hospitalized with serious injuries. Out of the hundred cattle transported, nineteen were killed and 58 stolen.
“The truck driver could have been killed,” said a visibly upset Willem Wethmar, the owner of Chalmer Beef and the cattle. He further added. “The deliberate overturning of the truck and the inhumane slaughter of the cattle are criminal acts.”
The South African Police Services finally managed to bring calm and order to the situation. The NSPCA had to euthanize some of the animals. Thirty two cattle were recovered and were offloaded at the destination farm by NSPCA personnel. Animal cruelty is widely tolerated in South Africa. It is part of African culture to slaughter animals for ritual and cultural reasons. The brutality and cruelty shown by the mob has left many South Africans shocked and outraged. Poverty and hunger were blamed for the barbaric behavior of the crowd, but starvation cannot be used to excuse the mindless cruelty of the mob.
“There are specific codes of conduct in place for the humane transport of livestock,” said Gerhard Schutte, chief executive of the Red Meat Producers Association. “This is totally unacceptable.”
Two similar attacks were reported in reported in the Eastern Cape. Pig and sheep transports were violently raided and the animals viciously slaughtered with little consequences for the perpetrators.
Photo from Wikipedia.