Welgevonden resident disputes SPCA claim that duck culling was humane
Candice Johnson states clearly that residents understand Mallards are considered invasive species and the population needs to be managed. However, she believes the manner in which the operation was carried out was cruel and inhumane.
While Cape of Good Hope SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abraham stated on CapeTalk that their monitors observed the culling and was satisfied that it was done as humanely as possible, Johnson says not all the facts were presented.
For example, while the SPCA claims the ducks were fed sedatives, but Johnson argues a vet report proves this is not true. She has a veterinary report from a duck they tried to save which states the bread was laced with an unidentifiable toxin
The manner in which the drugs were administered meant that native non-invasive birds like the water coot ate the laced bread and were removed by the officials.
SPCA and City officials on-site told residents they would test all ducks taken and return those who were not Mallards or Mallard hybrids.
Johnson says that in the Cape Argus article last week the SPCA was quoted stating that they had "rehabilitated and brought back ducks."
To date, Johnson says no indigenous water birds removed on the day of the cull have been returned.
She also describes how on the day of the cull the City of Cape Town staff picked the ducks up out by their wings and necks as seen in the photograph below.
The SPCA says ducks cannot drown, but Johnson says the vet report from the duck they tried to save, shows she had water in her lungs, proving she was drowning.
In addition, Johnson says her household was not notified of the culling time and date and so was not able to ensure that the family did not witness the disturbing event.
She says she received a notification dated the 25th Feb 2021 from the City of Cape town that culling would happen in March but no time or date was issued.
The police were later called on us for interfering and trying to save the animals from the cruelty they were experiencing. Please bear in mind that we were five ladies and one man and we were all unarmed, mostly in our pajamas still and in no way violent towards the workers.Candice Johnson, Resident - Welgevonden Estate
The police that were called showed up armed and in bulletproof vests. Totally unnecessary and overboard for the situation.Candice Johnson, Resident - Welgevonden Estate
The only birds still remaining from before the cull are a singular duck, a coot, and our grey farm goose, and both the native water coot and our domestic farm goose that lives on the dam ate the laced bread.Candice Johnson, Resident - Welgevonden Estate
Currently, all ducks that are now at Welgevonden flew in after the dam was cleared, she notes.
Read the veterinary report below: