South African chicken farmer wants to sue

25-08-2009 | |

North West farmer Jan Serfontein, embroiled in a chick killing saga, intends claiming more than R50 million (€ 4.5m) in damages from TV programme Carte Blanche, according to Sunday’s Rapport newspaper.

The claim was currently being drawn up and would be served on Carte Blanche in the coming week by George Gibbens, Serfontein’s lawyer. The amount was for damage to the farm as well as Serfontein’s reputation.

They would argue that the producers of the programme didn’t verify their facts properly and didn’t consider that Serfontein’s farm, Boskop Layer Chickens outside Potchefstroom, was a private enterprise.

Serfontein allegedly dumped day-old male chicks in an empty farm dam to starve to death, instead of gassing them or feeding them into a high-speed grinder.

After the allegations on the farm of one of the country’s largest egg producers, came to light, Woolworths and Pick n Pay stopped buying from him. A group on social networking website Facebook also protested.

Gibbens said Carte Blanche should have treated video footage supplied by a former employee of the farm, who allegedly had a grievance against Serfontein, with more scepticism.

Read also: Update: Task force investigates SA layer farm

Natalie Berkhout Freelance journalist
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