[Fwd: Pet carcass scandal]

The white Nissan bakkie comes to a halt. A man climbs out, puts on an
apron and a pair of gloves and removes the blanket covering a heap of
dead cats and dogs.

Grabbing them by the legs - straining with the weight of the larger ones
- he throws them to the ground, one on top of the other in a neat pile.
Once the job is done, he drops some leftover rubbish on the animals,
closes the back door of the bakkie and returns to the passenger seat.

The blue cross of the SPCA logo on the vehicle stands out in the grim
Randfontein landfill site west of Joburg - a place where hundreds, if
not thousands, of animal remains are left to rot or be harvested by
human scavengers.

Despite municipal rules which dictate that any animal dumped at the site
should be placed in a trench and buried "immediately" - and the SPCA's
insistence that even "in death animals are treated with dignity" - The
Star can reveal that animals at the site are left out in the open for
weeks, sometimes until they are fully decomposed. This, along with pools
of blood and piles of animal waste discarded by abattoirs, is a major
health hazard to communities in or near the dump, and to the environment.

The revelations come four months after a similar scandal broke out in
Humansdorp, Eastern Cape, after piles of dead animals were discovered at
a dumping site. It also coincides with a massive crackdown by the Green
Scorpions on medical waste after the discovery of a 300-ton stash in the
Free State town of Welkom last week.

She warns that a liquid produced through decomposition of a body is
poisonous to humans and the ecosystem if it finds its way into surface
or ground water.

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on December
02, 2009

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