Working towards a more compassionate world through education and advocacy

"I am the voice of the voiceless, I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man".    Mahatma Gandhi

Past Campaigns and News

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Full Scholarships now available to study for a specialist degree in Animal Law


Canadian newspaper gives front page coverage likening an animal activist to Nelson Mandela

The Toronto Pig Save trial received front page coverage in Canada's National Post on Friday,  March 10, with the headline "Pig activist like Gandhi or Mandela, says lawyer".

What a triumph for 2016!

In a judgement handed down in the Constitutional Court on

Thursday 8th December 2016

all 9 ConCourt judges  unanimously ruled that:

  •         animals have intrinsic value as individuals

  •         animals are sentient beings capable of suffering and experiencing pain

  •         guardianship of the interests of animals reflects constitutional values and the interests of society at large

  •         animal protection safeguards the moral status of humans and the degeneration of human values


For helping us achieve BETTER LIVES for animals, 

we thank you!

Dear Supporters,


2016! What a momentous year it’s been thanks to every one of you who has

supported our efforts!   Here’s a breakdown of some of what your support

has enabled us to do.

Free range Karoo lamb – There’s nothing humane about it!

Lamb chops are often viewed as one of the kinder meats because sheep are not shut away in wire cages like chickens, nor in metal crates like pigs. Instead, sheep graze in fields along country highways, in seemingly peaceful settings…

There is a horrifically dark side to sheep farming that consumers can’t imagine and never get to see.  At night, the rolling hills become hunting grounds for wildlife predators - and lambs are easy prey 

So we kill the wildlife that roam in the veld because man has designated himself as the only legitimate  predator.


The hidden cost of Karoo Lamb

We have until December 10th to object to the Department of Environmental Affairs about its intended legalisation of barbaric and cruel methods of predator control and the decimation of our wild life. We call for shepherds to watch these flocks of sheep by night instead of weapons of destruction! 



The Factory Farm Factor

Key medical procedures like Caesarean sections and hip replacements may soon become too dangerous to perform unless a solution can be found to the dramatic escalation in drug-resistant infections.


Elloise du Toit, a microbiologist at the University of Cape Town, has researched possible solutions to antibiotic dependence in the ostrich industry which is valued at R1.2 billion annually with 90% of ostrich meat exported to the EU.



Ostrich chicks are born without immunity to disease. In natural conditions, they are caprophytic which means they eat their mother’s stool and thereby get their mother’s probiotics which act as an initial inoculate against disease.  

However, in industrialised farming, the eggs hatch in a sterile incubator and the chicks are taken to high-density, overcrowded indoor pens with mesh flooring to allow their droppings to fall through.



As Global Antibiotics Awareness Week gets underway today, Compassion in World Farming (South Africa) is privileged to introduce supporters to Precious Ncayiyana.

Ms Ncayiyana is a Johannesburg pharmacist currently studying for a Masters of Science in Medicine Bioethics and Health Law at Wits University. She has been a supporter of Compassion in World Farming (SA) since 2012 and campaigns for a national mindset of “EATING HEALTHY!” ...

This week she deals with the challenge posed by SUPERBUGS!

"My area of interest is the use of antibiotics in animal farming. What are the main benefits of using antibiotics in animal Farming?"


PHASE OUT starts 2017

McDonalds has finally agreed to phase-out battery eggs in all its South African restaurants BEGINNING IN 2017 – with a completion of the phase out by 2025.

A measure of freedom for pregnant pigs is becoming a reality.  Our unrelenting push for better lives is paying off.

The life cycle of a mother pig in a South African factory farm

Up until now, sows have spent their entire 16 week pregnancies incarcerated in sow stalls and are then moved immediately to farrowing crates for 28 days for the birth and suckling of the piglets. They never get to walk.


The South African Pork Producers Organisation has given pig farmers until 2020 to phase out sow stalls for pregnant pigs.

The phase out is half-hearted because it still allows for 8 weeks of their pregnancies inside the sow stall!


Currently 18% of pig farmers in South Africa are going further and providing loose housing for 15 of the 16 weeks of their pregnancies.


Being able to move their limbs and walk around is a better life.




Compassion in World Farming (SA) condemns the turmoil, torment and terror that animals are subjected to at auction markets across South Africa.

Ironically, it was on World Animal Day  - 16th October - that these animals were auctioned at a market in Swellendam, Western Cape,  similar to this one ( see video below)

Crammed into a bakkie and trailer by their new owner, they were passing through Ashton,  headed for Cape Town, when the big boar jumped out of the trailer on the R62.


Winelands SPCA asked veterinary surgeon Dr Yvonne Robson who lives in Ashton to assist with the crisis.

The SPCA had arranged for the fire brigade to come and hose down the over-heated animals .....

People who fight for animals are often attacked as if they insult the fight against racism, sexism and homophobia by so much as mentioning animals in the same breath!


However, it is the master mentality that is at play here.
The fight against speciesism does not decrease respect for human life; it increases respect for all life!

The world is changing fast and leading scientific publications  are pointing out that different no longer means inferior;  that animals are here with us, not for us. As the dominant species, we are morally bound, at the very least, to give animals their birth-rights to lives worth living.
28 countries have banned the cruel metal cage that incarcerates pregnant pigs on factory farms.
Sadly, South Africa is not yet one of them.  South African Pork Producers Organisation (SAPPO) has agreed to a partial ban by 2020, whereby pregnant mother pigs will spend half of their 16 week pregnancies in sows stalls instead of their entire gestation period.

THIS IS JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH! 8 weeks is an eternity

when you can’t move backwards, forwards or even turn around!  


Compassion in World Farming SA is on the campaign trail again!
Join CAGE-FREE CAPE TOWN and support ONLY farms where pigs are free to romp and root around at will. (Paticipants of this campaign to follow - watch this space.)



The terrible scourge of dog-fighting infests the underworld within the beautiful city of Cape Town. Mostly it is disadvantaged youths who are drawn into this barbaric horror.


Dog fighting, though illegal, flourishes despite every effort of animal welfare organisations and the police to stop it.

To fight against this brutality we need to equip our youth with a complete understanding of the personal price they will pay and consequences that will inevitably confront them if they enter this dark, morally bankrupt underworld.


The urgency to reach our youth before they succumb to the lure of organised dog fighting has driven The Humane Education Trust to design a powerful new

two-day workshop “Dog Fighting must Fall” for high school students from at-risk communities.   Humane Education’s workshops will include testimony by a former member of a dog fighting syndicate.

To paralyse this industry requires mass action! Our aim is to run 20 workshops at 20 schools before the end of 2016.  A two day workshop for 1 school, including facilitators and classroom resources, costs R5000.  This campaign relies solely on donations and sponsorship.  We can’t do it alone, your support is essential.


Special acknowledgment in the form of a Certificate of Recognition, for a donation of R5000 or more, will be presented to and displayed at the benefiting school. Humane Education is in a strong position to fight this horrendous and depraved industry for the following reasons:


  • Humane Education’s Caring Classrooms programme for schools is now accredited by SETA (Skills Education & Training Authority) making Humane Education a government-recognised and desired qualification for teachers to attain.

  • Cape Town Tourism has endorsed our campaign “Dog Fighting must Fall”.






For more information about the "Dog Fighting Must Fall" Workshops contact

Louise van der Merwe  - Managing Trustee: The Humane Education Trust  .   Tel: 021 852 8160    .   Fax: 021 413 1297


Chefs at these fine restaurants have all

With the valued support of Cape Town Tourism, the Mother City and Durban are set to become  Cage Free Zones!


Imagine the freedom that a hen experiences when she is released from a life-time’s incarceration in a space allowance that is less than an A4 sheet of paper!

With your support, the hens that supply Cape Town with eggs,  can experience this freedom

But this is not limited to Cape Town. Your city, your suburb can also become part of this Cage-Free initiative.

See how to become a vital part of our CAGE FREE campaign.


It all started last year when Mayor Patricia de Lille announced that animals are sentient beings, deserving of the Five Freedoms for animals.  With these words ringing in our ears, Compassion in World Farming (SA) started a campaign to encourage the city to  Walk the Talk of Mayor de Lille. 


Starting with the food court at the Civic Centre and then moving to Cape Town’s top restaurants, we asked the Executive Chefs to sign a pledge to use only free range or cage-free eggs. We had no idea  we would receive such wonderful support.  


Each sow produces 2.25 litters of piglets per year. An average litter is 12 piglets. That’s 27 piglets a year per sow.


The NSPCA’s deadline for all sows to be out of sow stalls:

31st Dec 2016.  TAKE ACTION - see more...

Dear Friends,

As the year comes to an end, we want to thank you again for your support of our endeavours. This is what we have planned for the year ahead:


• 2016 marks the year in which sow stalls for pregnant pigs are to be phased out by year’s end and after a decade of fighting for this, Animal Voice will be monitoring the count-down every step of the way.

• The school principal who ordered a ‘nuisance’ dog to be buried alive on school grounds was instructed by Khayelitsha magistrate, Mr Menyiwe to undergo a course in Humane Education as a conditional part of his suspended sentence. Our programme Humane Education-Caring Classrooms was selected as the intervention of choice and was delivered to the principal and his teachers in the fourth term of 2015. The success of our intervention can be seen in our official report-back to Magistrate Menyiwe here 


1. We are targeting corporate South Africa to fund one school of their choice, as part of their SRI, to receive our Humane Education-Caring Classrooms programme during 2016. This is the only programme of its kind to have received SETA accreditation!

• With Patricia de Lille’s statement, as mayor of Cape Town, that animals are sentient beings deserving of the five freedoms...
2. We managed to source legitimate cage-free eggs at a price that makes them competitive with battery eggs. This enabled the 9 Food Court vendors supplying meals to the thousands of civil servants who occupy the Cape Town civic centre, to use only cage-free eggs in all their ready-made meals, in support of Mayor de Lille.

3. With the Civic Centre as a foundation stone, 2016 will be devoted to bringing companies and institutions on board to make Cape Town a Cage-Free Zone in support of its Mayor, and we will then start to duplicate this effort in Johannesburg and Durban.
We thank you in advance for your continued support. It is crucial to the achievement of these endeavours.

Journey across the high seas... to slaughter 

It took all of 18 hours to load them onto the Holstein Express... 2500 cattle and 500 goats – bound for slaughter in Mauritius.

Together with members of Ban Animal Trading, Eileen Chapman, Compassion in World Farming’s Gauteng Representative, was there to witness their departure from the harbour at East London on 2nd July 2015.   

“The saddest thing of all,” said Eileen afterwards, “ was when I flew out of East London that night on my way back to Johannesburg, and saw the most beautiful big golden moon shining over the sea.


The amazing beauty of the moonlight, was completely overshadowed by my knowledge of the heart-breaking misery and  tauma of the cows and goats on board the Holstein Express.”

Eileen’s heartbreak was reported in The Times the next day. SEE ARTICLE - THE TIMES LIVE

Shipping animals to slaughter is a roaring trade across the world...

We are deluded if we think this trade is anything but SLAVERY on a scale the world has never seen before. 

"Vocal activists proclaimed their abhorrence of live animal exports at the Abbotsford off-ramp to the N2 yesterday as thousands of cattle and goats were loaded onto livestock carrier the Holstein Express at the East London Port." 


"I think it is an atrocity that these animals are being subjected to live sea export, which is the cruellest form of transport," said Compassion in World Farming and Ban Animal Trading's Johannesburg representative Eileen Chapman, who flew down to join the protest yesterday morning.

"The Page Farming Trust has been exporting live animals to Mauritius for about 17 years.


Activists are opposed to animals being transported in livestock vessels, saying they suffer intense fear and discomfort during the sea journey."   The Times Live

"They become seasick, slip in their own excrement and sometimes can't get up. They arrive mentally and physically broken. It is blatant abuse and we should all aim to stop it." Page Farming Trust director Glen Page said the Holstein Express conformed to all international standards and to Australian live export protocol.   The Times Live

Last month, the Sunday Times reported the discovery of a wreck of a slave ship in the sea below Lion’s Head, Cape Town. Animal Voice editor, Louise van der Merwe, wrote a letter to the editor in response to the article. It was not published. 

Dear Editor -

The shame that we feel about the slave trade is so abhorrent to our sense of who we are as humans, that there is “global selective amnesia about slavery.” (Sunday Times, June 7 2015, Page 7: How Clifton’s grave of slaves was finally found). 

But slavery is not the ghost of something past.  Slavery flourishes today as never before, feeding our insatiable appetite for dominance of us over them, feeding our toxic arrogance and enabling the scourge of a mentality of superiority to flourish as  much today as in 1794 when the Sao Jose-Paquete de Africa sank along with its cargo of shackled humans to the sea bed below Lion’s Head. 

The only difference today is that we have transferred our concept of  ‘less than’, from the indigenous inhabitants of Africa, to beings who share with us the breath of life and so much more besides, but who manifest in a different shape or form from us. Just as once we got away with unmercifully shackling ‘slaves’ to do our bidding, we now  shackle non-humans with our unforgiveable arrogance, ignorance and ability to blind ourselves to the hideous truth about the enormity of the suffering we inflict on them. Animals by their billions are the enslaved ‘them’ of today. 

And still we continue to wonder, in our blind stupidity, why our society is so violent! We continue to ignore the fundamental truth that how we treat those who are absolutely at our mercy, is exactly who and what we are. 

Losing our prejudice against those who are shaped differently to us and replacing it with a profound sense of respect and reverence is a threshold we still have to cross. For the sake of our children and all non-humans, it cannot come too soon. 


Louise van der Merwe – Cell: 072 457 9177
Director in South Africa: Compassion in World Farming

Editor: Animal Voice

Managing Trustee: The Humane Education Trust

Tel: 021 852 8160

Fax: 021 413 1297


Say NO to Factory Farming - Gautengers up the ante against factory farming

The Gauteng branch of Compassion in World Farming SA staged a demo against factory farming  at Hyde Park, Johannesburg. - 4 July 2015

The Protest was a HUGE success, thank you to all our fantastic activists -

These are the people that change the world!   SEE MORE

Said motorist Nikki Benson in an email afterwards:  “Hello, we received your brochure at the robots at Hydepark.. I have added your organization to my monthly bill and am donating to you. Thank you for your work, it is truly amazing and all animals deserve respect. My daughter would like to distribute your pamphlets at her school. Thank you and all the very best...”


A big Thank You to Nikki Benson and others like her who have jointed the fight against factory farming and to Eileen Chapman, and Janine and Kerry Nash for organising such a successful demo.

South African big business giants are infiltrating Africa with supermarkets and factory farms, displacing millions of small-scale farmers

One of the reasons given for the recent spate of xenophobic attacks in South Africa is that foreign nationals open shops in local townships, selling goods at cheaper rates and putting SA’s own shop-owners out of business.

But, in an ironic twist


SA BIG BUSINESS GIANTS are infiltrating Africa with supermarkets and factory farms, displacing million of small-scale farmers


Now Tanzanian farmer Jack Meena who lives in Dar es Salaam,  has made contact with Compassion in World Farming headquarters in London appealing for co-operation to help reverse the avalanche of factory farms that have sprung up in his country. 


CIWF(HQ) put him in touch with CIWF(SA). CIWF(SA)’s director immediately remembered him from when he worked with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), now called World Animal Protection, when it’s African office was situated in Tanzania. He was WSPA’s Programme Manager (Campaigns) and took a lead role in exposing the atrocities involved in whaling, long distance transport to slaughter and he lobbied for the endorsement of the Universal Declaration of Animal Welfare at the UN.

Jack remains an animal activist. He says:


“I am a small-scale farmer, keeping free-range chickens, dairy cows and pigs. All of them are able to express their natural behaviours.


“Even though I am no longer with WSPA, I remain passionate about the well-being of animals. The problem is not that South African  supermarkets and agribusinesses are mushrooming in Tanzania... the problem is that they are bringing factory farming with them. 


“Factory farm products are now sold everywhere – supermarkets, small butchers, local markets, big and small hotels, in our pubs and along the roadsides.


“It is all cheap, junk stuff – offered at the expense of our health and the welfare of animals.


“The animals involved are mainly chickens, quail, turkey, kanga (guinea fowl) and pigs. We are not talking only about South African businesses here. Europe is also here. My message to all of them is crystal clear! Just because your own consumers have become aware of the atrocities of factory farming, you have moved into Tanzania and East Africa where consumers are still not aware of the issues around intensive farming of animals.


“This is a gross form of exploitation. It is a repetition of colonialism in another form. If you come to our land, come with dignity, care and respect for the inhabitants of Africa – human and animal, plants and the environment at large. Bring us best practices in humane farming. This is what your fellow brothers and sisters want in this part of the planet.


“We need to collectively and decisively mount pressure on policy-makers to end animal cruelty while working closely with all key stakeholders in addressing the unhealthy practices of intensive animal farming.


“ Let us make this world a better place for every organism to live in. Asanteni! Sharp! Thanking you!”

DAFF attempts to obfuscate the truth!

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) in apparent co-operation with the SA battery egg industry, has called for comment to an amended draft of labelling regulations - which obfuscate the truth!

Speak up now for SA’s 25 million laying hens who will never experience anything but misery, torment and pain.


Dear Supporters,

While just-released draft amendments to labelling regulations make provision for battery eggs to be labelled ‘cage eggs’, shockingly, this identification is optional, voluntary and by no means obligatory!


So – the provision is just window-dressing!

Instead, further down in the document, draconian measures are set out whereby any claim on any carton of eggs – be they organic or free range - that refers to the humane treatment of the hens such as ‘pasture fed’ or ‘antibiotic free’ or ‘cage free’ is prohibited!

Please see Compassion SA’s letter to DAFF

We urge you to please to write a courteous letter to Ms Matlou Setati at

Subject: Department of Agriculture on the labelling of eggs.


Please say how shocked we are that grown men and women will resort to subterfuge to obfuscate the truth about the suffering of laying hens. Prohibiting marketing claims such as ‘pasture fed’, ‘cage free’ or ‘antibiotic free’, in our view, is subterfuge, obfuscation of the truth and a violation of our Consumer Right to Transparency! If the amendment is ratified as is, we will have no option but to take this matter further in law.    SEE MORE


'Broken' chickens prompt Compassion supporter to challenge poultry industry CEO to stop the suffering

The gut-wrenching sight of end-of-lay hens being crushed into impossible spaces and thrown out if ‘broken’, has prompted Compassion supporter Janine Nash to issue a challenge to Kevin Lovell, CEO of the South African Poultry Association.


In an open letter to Kevin Lovell, she says: Stop the suffering!

Please let Mr Lovell know that Janine’s call for compassion has the full force of our support.


Write your own email to him at and please sign our latest petition, click here.


Tell him that the brutality and callous disregard for animal suffering exhibited by the poultry industry is a national disgrace.

Janine’s open letter follows:


Good day Mr Lovell


Thank you for reading my email.

I recently went to a cull depot to purchase some ex battery hens and was witness to the most dreadful animal cruelty.


I attach photos and ask that the sale of live hens to informal traders be stopped immediately.  I am sure you will agree with me after seeing the shocking footage I managed to capture. The traders were forcing the live hens into wheelbarrows, tiny boxes, they were carrying the hens away by the feet, 2 or 3 in each hand, the owner of the bakkie of hens pictured here was forcing about 20 hens into a space big enough for about 4.  He was actually injuring them deliberately in order to force more in. He knew he was being cruel because he didn't want a record of his cruelty.  He asked me if I was from the SPCA. He then  threatened me and forced me to delete the footage I had obtained. Fortunately his knowledge of cell phones was lacking and so I managed to keep the footage.


The cull depot workers were indifferent to the suffering of the hens casually throwing the 'broken' ones out.  I offered to buy one of the suffering hens and was told I couldn't have her because she was 'broken'


I feel sure that you as a compassionate man will not allow this cruelty to continue.


Thanking you most sincerely in advance

Janine Nash

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Intl: +27 21 852 8160  .  Tel: 021 852 8160  .  Fax: 021 4131297



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