Sunday, October 04, 2009


A Kenyan-based Animal Rights organisation has called on the South African government to ban the bare handed killing of a bull that takes place each December as part of the First Fruits Ceremony at Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal.

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The call, made by Josphat Ngonyo, Director of Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW), comes hot on the heels of ANAW’s triumph in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi in December 2008 when a bullfighting event was prevented from taking place because of the cruelty involved.

Regarded as a traditional sport in Kenya, the bullfighting event was organised by Target Africa as a tourist drawcard to highlight ‘the Obama Circuit’ in Kenya’s Western Province and was due to take place on Saturday 13th December 2008.

However, ANAW appealed to the Press, government and police to stop the proposed fight on the grounds that:

  • It would be inhumane and barbaric;
  • It would discourage tourism;
  • It would be a bad example for children and “mould them into becoming violent citizens”.
Within hours, the bulls were ushered back into trailers to be returned home.

“Bullfighting is illegal, inhumane, unethical and retrogressive,” said Mr Ngonyo. “It is a violation of Kenya’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. We will not sit back and watch as some commercially-minded individuals promote inhumane treatment of our animals.”

Now ANAW has appealed to all African governments to stop acts of animal cruelty practiced in the name of ‘culture’.

“A case in point,” said Mr Ngonyo, “is the killing of the bull at the Zulu nation’s First Fruits Festival in South Africa. “The cruelty meted out to these animals is barbaric, inhumane and retrogressive. It is conducted in the name of ‘culture’ but culture of this nature needs to be abandoned as swiftly as the culture of female circumcision.

“The mind boggles at the brutality involved in ripping out the bull’s tongue, gouging out his eyes, suffocating him with soil, causing excruciating pain to his genitals, and kicking and trampling him to his eventual death.

“This is not the face of Africa that will see us contributing to global discourse as competent and dignified participants.”

Compassion in World Farming (SA) calls on Minister of Culture to state whether the killing of the bull will be allowed to take place again in December 2009.

Issued by Compassion in World Farming (South Africa) as a member of the ANAW Network, PO Box 825, Somerset West 7129 Tel. 021 852 8160, email: Websites: and

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