NSPCA Free State
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The NSPCA launched a campaign in 2019 to end the practice of live animal export by sea and today they celebrate a small victory.


South Africa (08 March 2022) – The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) today celebrated a victory in their fight against live animal exports by sea. They first launched their campaign to end the practice in 2019 when a shipment of thousands of sheep left South Africa, bound for the Middle East.

Conditions on board the vessel 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 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.

With the help of a heavy-weight legal force, the NSPCA has been able to make a dent in the opposition’s finances and have their cause seriously considered.

The case still needs to be brought to court with the help of Advocate Gerri Nel and the attorneys for the NSPCA case, Matthew Klein and Justin Powers. The NSPCA is indebted to Gerrie Nel and Afriforum for taking this important case on. The NSPCA has a bevvy of esteemed experts, including Australian Veterinarian Dr Lynn Simpson who has first-hand experience on these ships, Professor Gareth Bath, Dr Shaun Morris, as well as our own veterinarian, Dr Bryce Marock.

The NSPCA has released a statement detailing their small but substantial victory along with the hope of more to come.

“On the February 18th 2022, Al Mawashi announced that they have not yet received an order from Kuwait to export sheep from South Africa for the year 2022.

Further to this, Al Mawashi indicated that they would prefer to export sheep from Australia in the event that Kuwait required their feedlots to be replenished.

Before Al Mawashi wormed its way into South Africa, it used to export sheep from Australia. Our colleagues in Australia also fought hard to protect their sheep which contributed to changing regulatory stances toward live export. As a result, Al Mawashi announced in 2018 that it would explore other sources for livestock. That is where this live export nightmare for South Africa began.

Al Mawashi is South Africa’s largest international exporter of live animals. The animals, mainly sheep, are crammed onto Al Mawashi’s vessels and travel by sea for nearly 21 days, under cruel conditions, until they arrive in the Middle East to be slaughtered.

Since 2019, when Al Mawashi first arrived on our shores, the NSPCA has been fighting relentlessly to protect our animals from being exported by sea north of the equator. Despite what at times appeared to be insurmountable odds, the NSPCA never gave up- and this announcement is a MASSIVE victory for the NSPCA and South Africa’s sheep!

In their statement, Al Mawashi alleges to have spent around R49 000 000 in litigation as a result of the NSPCAs fight to protect our animals from live export.

Although this is not the final victory for our sheep, the Council deems it necessary to publicly acknowledge that this milestone would not have been possible without the valuable support the Council has received from the public and our colleagues.

The Council extends its sincere appreciation to every person who steadfastly fought beside us in this battle. To everyone who signed the petition, shared our posts to raise awareness and donated to help the Council fight this battle- THANK YOU. The Council also extends its sincere appreciation to those who assisted with accommodation, flights and food for our inspectors each time we travelled to East London to monitor the shipments.

Let this victory be the light at the end of the tunnel, indicating that your support was not given in vain.

A heartfelt thanks is extended especially to our colleagues at Animals Australia for their significant and continued support. While this is a joyous occasion for South Africa, we are still deeply sorry that this evil and unnecessary trade will continue in Australia. We are hopeful that there will come a day where this abhorrent trade is banned globally.

The NSPCA currently has a court application in motion which seeks to ban the export of live animals by sea north of the equator completely. The case is set to be heard in court later this year.”

The NSPCA do have ways for you to assist them cover the costs if their legal fees. You can donate via BackaBuddy here or using the website here, just make your reference “Sheep” so they know where to allocate your donation.

“It has been a difficult journey since 2019, however, with every vessel that left our shores filled with our sheep, our determination to ban this cruel trade grew stronger and stronger. Dolly the sheep, was correct in saying that we would never stop fighting for them. Together with our supporters, we hope to make history and ensure that no animal is exported live by sea north of the equator ever again!” – Marcelle Meredith, Executive Director.

Sources: NSPCA
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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