The Trustees 2017-05-23T09:37:39+00:00


Tamsin Nel

Founder Member, Managing Director and Fundraiser

In July 2006, Tamsin founded the SA Mass Animal Sterilisation Trust which, to this day, is dedicated to humane education, free mass sterilisation and primary treatment campaigns and animal ambulance, general veterinary treatment and shelter for dogs and cats in Cape Town’s informal settlements.

As Founder and Managing Director, she is responsible for the overall management of all SA.MAST programmes, projects and campaigns, financial accounts, fundraising, communications and media liaisons.

Tamsin has secured coverage on national, provincial and local television, radio, newspapers and news websites for SA.MAST’s special events, unprecedented and ground breaking approach to animal welfare in township environments and the campaigning for a mandatory sterilisation by-law for the City of Cape Town.

Tamsin began her professional working life as an investigative journalist, after which she spent a few years in the marketing and advertising sector before permanently dedicating her life to the health, welfare and intrinsic rights of wild and domestic animals. Tamsin believes in the ethos of we ‘stand and fall together’ and that the improvement of health and welfare and the championing of the intrinsic rights of all sentient beings, including human beings, can only reach a successful outcome if done in an inclusive and holistic manner.


  • PETA’s international “One Can Make a Difference” contest winner in the ‘Spay/Neuter Companion Animals’ category.
  • News 24  SA ‘One Woman Army‘ heroine.
  • “O” The Oprah Magazine (Oprah Winfrey) awarded a Change Maker Award.

Tamsin and her son live in Cape Town with their rescued cats and dogs.

Prof. Mike Picker


As a SA.MAST Trustee, Mike helps to manage the Trust specifically assisting with policy formation and the good governance of the Trust.  “I feel that in a small way I am contributing to the management of the huge overpopulation of domestic animals in the Cape Flats, and thus improving the lives of a smaller, more manageable and treatable population of dogs and cats.”

Mike teaches and researches his specialist topic of insect ecology in the Zoology Department of the University of Cape Town, where he is an associate Professor. His discoveries include the new insect order Mantophasmatodea found in South Africa in 2002, and the world’s only jumping cockroach (from Table Mountain!). He is First Author on the books ‘Field Guide to Insects of South Africa’, which has sold 50 000 copies, and ‘Alien and Invasive fauna – a South African Perspective’, co-authored with Charles Griffiths and published in September 2011. Mike is a River Warden for Friends of Constantia Valley Greenbelts, a keen sportsman and a gardener.

Dr. Elisa Galgut


As a SA.MAST Trustee, Elisa helps to manage the Trust specifically assisting with policy formation and the good governance of the Trust.  Elisa believes that a mass sterilisation programme for domestic animals forms a crucial part in the struggle against animal cruelty and neglect in the Western Cape. Mass animal sterilisation improves the lives of both domestic animals and their carers and – by extension – the entire community.  For this reason, she is proud to be a member of SA.MAST, which is doing important work in curtailing the overpopulation of dogs and cats in informal settlements.

Elisa Galgut teaches in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Cape Town (UCT).  Her primary areas of interest are in the Philosophy of Art and Literature (aesthetics) and the Philosophy of Psychoanalysis. She served as Chair of UCT’s Senate Animal Ethics Committee for several years and was instrumental in ending the University’s research on wild-caught baboons and in assisting with the relocation of a group of research baboons to a sanctuary. As a result of her work on animal ethics committees, she has developed an interest in the philosophical arguments for animal rights and has given public lectures on the use of animals in research and on veganism.