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Update: Poultry body lifts ban on SA breeder

The South African Poultry Association (Sapa) has lifted the suspension of Boskop Layer Chickens (BLC) in Potchefstroom, one of the biggest chicken farms in the country. Owner and former provincial minister of agriculture Jan Serfontein was accused of dodgy chick killing practices on his farm.

Sapa did an independent investigation into the allegation and according to a veterinary consultant the manner in which BLC was now killing the chicks was acceptable, the poultry assosiation said in a statement. The male chicks are now being macerated - fed into a high-speed grinder – which is a legal way of culling them, Beeld newspaper reports.

Last month animal rights groups were up in arms over the chick-killing practices at BLC.

It was alleged that up to 70,000 male birds were being dumped in an empty dam every week to starve or suffocate, because they were "economically worthless" to farmers breeding laying hens.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had laid 9 charges against Serfontein and his son under the Animal Protection Act over the killing of the chicks.

Natalie Berkhout

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