70,000 Sheep Let Down After High Court Of South Africa Removes NSPCA’s Urgent Plea To Stop Their Live Export To Kuwait

The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) confirmed last week that an urgent application to the High Court of South Africa had been launched to stop the impending export by sea of live sheep to Kuwait. This, following the live export by sea that took place last year where thousands of sheep were transported to the Middle East in horrendous conditions.

The matter was set to be heard in the Grahamstown High Court in South Africa. Instead, the High Court application was removed due to procedural issues.

The loading for the next shipment of 70,000 sheep is due to begin on March 17th.

According to a statement by the NSPCA, they will attempt to work with Al Mawashi to try and establish the best outcome for the animals involved. However, they made it clear that their stance is unchanged; their opposition to this practice on welfare grounds has been steadfast for decades. There is undoubted cruelty both during the lengthy sea voyage and at the destination.

Since the October 2019 shipment, the NSPCA has attempted to gain information from both the exporters and the government of when the next shipment is scheduled, but to no avail. The NSPCA was recently made aware that the sheep are mounting in the feedlot owned by Page Farming Trust and leased by Al Mawashi in Berlin, Eastern Cape, and there were in excess of 30,000 sheep in the first week of February 2020. This number has increased by another 40,000 since February 13th, totaling 70,000 sheep. It is clear that an imminent shipment is planned.

It has come to light that other exporters wish to ship live cattle by sea to Cambodia. The voyage is even longer than that of the Kuwait exports, it exceeds 21 days.

“This case is not only important for this shipment of sheep, but for all the animals that are destined for this harrowing journey to various countries around the globe,” Senior Inspector Grace De Lange, Manager of the NSPCA’s Farm Animal Protection Unit, explained in a statement. We simply cannot allow the perpetuation and growth of this cruel and brutal trade.”

In November 2019, the NSPCA laid criminal charges in terms of the (Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962) against the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), as well as Eastern Cape Rural Development and Agrarian Reform. The charges were also filed against Al Mawashi – the owners of the Al Shuwaikh vessel who have a company in South Africa, the captain of the Al Shuwaikh, Page Farming Trust, as well as individuals from Page Farming Trust after 57,000 sheep were loaded for shipment to the Middle East in sickening conditions last year. The matter is with the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the investigation is still ongoing.

Conditions on board the Al Shuwaikh in October 2019, included dangerously high ammonia levels on some of the enclosed decks, widespread diarrhoea, with much of it falling into the feed and water troughs, sheep in respiratory distress, together with other serious animal welfare concerns. On the dock and feedlot, animals were treated in an inhumane manner, and attempts were made to load sick, injured and lame animals onto the vessel. These sentient beings meant nothing to the handlers and exporters.

The costs incurred thus far have been exorbitant and the matter is far from over. The motion will be heard in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, so traveling costs, as well as legal costs are placing huge pressure on the NSPCA’s resources.

Please donate to assist the NSPCA with its campaign against the live export of animals HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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