In a case that could set a precedent affecting the way government helps small farmers in the future, a small-scale Western Cape chicken farmer has been served with an interdict obtained by South Africa's largest poultry producer, Rainbow Chicken, curtailing his operations because - Rainbow claimed - it posed a "biosecurity threat" to a Rainbow coop situated nearby.
The farmer's operation produces a range of kosher and halaal slaughtered chickens, Business Report
Tyrone Poole, a managing member of an abattoir and poultry farm in the Hopefield area of the Western Cape, opposed these claims. His farm, he says, has been assisted with resources and finances - aiming to expand the farming operation legally - by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Department spokesman Wouter Kriel said the court verdict in the case could affect the department's ability to support small-scale poultry farmers in the future.
Stephen Heath, the corporate affairs director at Rainbow, told Business Report
that Poole was alleged to be farming up to 4 000 chicks instead of the 250 stipulated in an earlier interdict. "This could endanger poultry in the area. We are willing to help [Tyrone Poole] with whatever he needs... What he is doing is illegal and we have confirmed it with the directorate of land management" Heath said.
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