Concerns have been raised in regards to the harmful ways that load shedding can affect farm animals and the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) is urging Eskom to to address the matter.
An official release statement by the NSPCA says that load shedding could have a detrimental impact on farm animals.
“Unideal conditions lead to stress on the animals which leads to immune system failure, illness, and even mortality.”
Intensive Farming-system animals are dependent on optimum conditions to survive and remain healthy, and maintaining such conditions requires a constant supply of electricity. Electricity is used to maintain the lighting, heating, ventilation, electric motors that power feed-lines.
According to the NSPCA, intensive poultry production is “heavily reliant on electricity for maintaining poultry house environments”. It not only aids towards keeping feed-lines going, but maintains ventilation in the poultry house, which is crucial as overheating poses a serious threat to the chickens.
“If the mechanical ventilation system fails to circulate air through the poultry house, the enclosure can heat up extremely rapidly, and the entire flock could suffer heat stress or even result in slow and painful deaths.”
Manager of the NSPCA’s Farm Animal Protection Unite, Senior Inspector Grace De Lange, says that Eskom has failed to address the issue and has not responded to communication from the NSPCA.
“The NSPCA have been addressing Eskom since December, last year, with regards to our serious concerns, but have only received requests for our meter number in return – a query that is completely unrelated to our issues as we do not run an intensive farming operation. We are disgusted by their lack of response, and with the fact that they have clearly not even bothered to read our correspondence. We are extremely worried about the fate of thousands of animals that may suffer as a result of intermittent electricity deprivation,” De Lange says.
The national animal welfare organisation is pleading with Eskom to address their concerns.
“The NSPCA strongly urges Eskom to take serious cognisance of the concerns raised, and to consider the welfare of the sentient beings that rely on a constant electricity supply to survive.”