Breaking! The NSPCA Files Animal Abuse Charges After Global Outrage Of Live Export Of 60,000 Sheep From South Africa To The Middle East

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The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) confirmed yesterday that criminal charges have been filed against several groups, including the Department of Agriculture, that were involved in the appalling live export of 60,000 sheep from South Africa to the Middle East last month.

Animal abuse charges were also filed against the Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), Eastern Cape Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, the owners and captain of the Al Shuwaikh vessel, and the Page Farming Trust.

As previously reported by WAN, despite global outrage and a campaign by the NSPCA, the South African Government still approved the export.

“Many animals will not survive the journey, the cumulative deaths on the fleets of Al Mawashi from 1980 to the first half of 2017, is more than 1.5 million deaths,” Senior Inspector Grace De Lange, manager of the NSPCAs Farm Animal Protection Unit, said in a September statement. “Those that survive the voyage will then face the horrors of arriving in a country where there are no animal protection laws. They will be shoved into boots of cars, and handled inhumanely, only to be slaughtered fully conscious, often by unskilled slaughterers, and in the presence of other animals”

The NSPCA monitored the recent loading process and violations in terms of the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962 were observed and documented by NSPCA Inspectors, as well as Inspectors from various Eastern Cape SPCAs.

Conditions on board the Al Shuwaikh included dangerously high ammonia levels on some of the enclosed decks, dirty surroundings, including feces in the food and water troughs, 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 sheep onto the vessel. Sadly, these poor sentient beings seemed to mean nothing to the officials and exporters.

“Our plea to treat the animals humanely fell on deaf ears,” De Lange said in a statement yesterday. “Witnessing the suffering of these sheep even before their departure, and watching the Al Shuwaikh leave was heartbreaking, but it has also affirmed the NSPCA’s determination to advocate for justice on their behalf.”

According to De Lange, dockets with the relevant evidence have been handed over to South African Police Services which will now be required to obtain statements from the accused.

The NSPCA also met with their legal counsel which confirmed that the organization has a case for the High Court. The intention is not only to ensure that the Al Shuwaikh does not return to the shores of South Africa, but also to challenge the issue of exporting live animals by sea.

Donations to help the NSPCA proceed with this landmark case can be made HERE!

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