NPA declines to prosecute farmer who 'used a baboon as bait for his dog'

The NPA has decided not to prosecute a farmer who had used a baboon as a bait while hunting.
The NPA has decided not to prosecute a farmer who had used a baboon as a bait while hunting.
Image: Jan Hattingh

A case of "vile cruelty" has been withdrawn by the state, says a disappointed National Council of SPCAs.

The anti-animal cruelty organisation said on Monday a senior public prosecutor at the Laingsburg magistrate's court had decided to withdraw a case it had investigated in August 2018, involving a dog that was incited to attack a baboon while both were locked in a cage together. This was alleged to have occurred regularly.

The state cited a lack of witnesses.

The NSPCA said this was "even though an employee of the accused had submitted an affidavit to validate the video footage" it had obtained.

"We are terribly disappointed by this decision – the video footage is not only heartbreaking, but absolutely horrendous as well. The fact that a person can lock two animals up together and incite one to attack the other is shocking and appalling and something that our court should take incredibly seriously," said senior inspector Douglas Wolhuter, manager of the NSPCA's wildlife protection unit.

Conservation NGO Baboon Matters said last year that the actions by a Laingsburg farmer were "deeply distressing" and "sadistic". Calling for the farmer and his accomplices to be swiftly brought to book, it stated: "Not only must justice be done, but it must seen to be done."

Wolhuter said the NSPCA unit would consult the director of public prosecutions in an attempt to ensure that the case went ahead.

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