Asher’s Farm Sanctuary is a safe haven for rescue animals, who get to live out the rest of their days treated with compassion and care. The expansive, beautiful farm was established in 2017 and rescues animals from the animal agriculture industry. They have a majestic 1-ton ox, cows, goats, donkeys, chickens who are friends with pigs and other animals who were lucky enough not to meet their untimely deaths. Being able to interact with these special souls is really eye-opening and fun!
Asher’s Farm Sanctuary, just outside of Pretoria East, offers tours so that you can visit these happy animals. They enjoy it as much as you do! Most of the animals do come from backgrounds where they were hurt by humans and some of them are still shy and weary of human interaction. Booking a tour means a staff member can talk you through which of the rescues are friendly and which aren’t . You’ll also learn how to handle them, I learnt how to hold a chicken properly! Yes there is a way to hold a chicken. Or the special trick to giving a potbelly pig a good tummy scratch. Asher’s Farm Sanctuary not only takes care of these creatures but they also try to educate the public on aspects of animal agriculture that are often hidden from the public.
Our tour guide was a former SPCA Inspector and actually had a hand in rescuing some of the animals on the farm and finding them a new home. She could tell us the stories behind each and every animal rescued. Mr T, a 1 ton ox normally would have been slaughter straight after birth or become veal. Mr T sadly became a labratory subject involved in animal testing. He found a home at Asher’s but recent;y had his magnifiecent horn removed to treat his chronic sinus issues.
The beautiful chickens on at sanctuary are from a case you might remember from the news. As part of the pranks played for their ’40 days’ in matric, a group of boys decided to buy some chickens and keep them in their sports bags during the school day. They then took these chickens out an proceeded to kick them around like soccer balls. In a final act of cruelty, tried to feed the chickens KFC. Luckily someone called the SPCA and chickens were confiscated.
Grace, a sweet little cow, was my favourite rescue. Her big eyes and gentle, playful nature had me hooked. I know we’re not meant to have favourites but I do! Grace was an itty-bitty calf when she fell off of a transport truck, the Asher’s staff assume she may have been on the way to auction. After her fall she was hit by a passing vehicle and dislocated her hip. Treating dislocated hips in baby cows is pretty difficult!
Asher’s Farm Sanctuary had to find an equine veternarian who would agree to the surgey. Then an implant for the hip had to be specially made and imported. Grace received a full hip replacement which will grow with her. She still received physio treatments weekly but she’s a happy, bouncy cow thanks to the dedication of the staff at the sanctuary.
The Story Behind The Farm
Asher’s Farm Sanctuary was the dream of Oscar Hirsch. Oscar’s Hebrew name was Asher, he was a vegeterian for over 60 years and become a vegan. Asher lived by the words of George Bernard Shaw who said “Animals are my friends and I don’t eat my friends.”
Asher’s dying wish was to put money aside for animal wellfare, education and ecology. The result of this dream is Asher’s Farm Sanctuary. “We hope to inspire positive change and compassionate living by raising awareness with regard to factory farming and its effect on the earth. We will do this while presenting humanity with healthy alternatives for clear conscience living. “
The Sanctuary was built off of Asher’s legacy but it needs donations and sponships to run. You can tour the sanctuary any day of the week but make an appointment first. Tours are free and donantions are requested but not required. There is a small cafe and shop serving and selling delicious vegan products. You can also get a branded T-shirt or sweater to show your support for the sanctuary and their important work. If you’d like to, you can sponsor one of the rescues, starting from as little as R200 a month.