Thursday, 19 June 2008 18:38

School bird hunt - issue taken to minister

The National Council of SPCAs  (NSPCA) is still battling to put a stop to the bird hunt organised by the Hans Styrdom High School in Naboomspruit in the Limpopo Province. Organisers have stated their intention and determination to go ahead on 20 and 21 June.

The NSPCA believes this hunt has potential to violate the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962.
Condemnation of the activity has been expressed in the strongest possible terms by the NSPCA who feel that it is unethical in the extreme and that the linking of a school with flagrant slaughter – turning killing into sport and competition – reflects badly on our country as a whole and that the involvement of children carries grave implications.

Written communications were sent by the NSPCA to the relevant role players in the Limpopo province including the MEC for Education, the Premier of the province and his administrative assistant. The Honourable Minister for Education was also approached who referred the matter to the Director General of Education who is out of the country. The Minister has been approached again.

Leon Mitchell, the Minister’s administrative assistant advised the NSPCA that schools have been  declared gun free zones. Although the slaughter of birds will take place on surrounding farms, the hunters will be accommodated in school hostels and the issue of how and where firearms will be stored therefore becomes relevant. Mr Mitchell advised that a similar case is currently under appeal.

The aim of the NSPCA is to stop this hunt. It is scheduled to begin early tomorrow morning. All pleas for responsibility, consideration of image and consequences plus appeals for compassion have failed. Those involved are doing our youth a huge disservice and are tarnishing the image of our beloved country.