SPCA keeps an eye on ‘death ship’ to Middle East


In terms of a court order, the National Council of Animal Protection Societies (NRDBV) will now keep a watchful eye on the loading of livestock destined for export to the Middle East.

It follows the so-called “death ship” Al Messilah Tuesday in the East London port in the Eastern Cape.

The NRDBV says around 60,000 sheep, 1,500 cattle and 200 goats will be on the Al Messilah shipped to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Al Mawashi (Pty) Ltd., the company that exports the livestock to the Middle East, approached the High Court in Makhanda last week on an urgent basis to prevent NRDBV inspectors from marking sick or pregnant animals.

This follows after some of the animals, while they were still kept in a feedlot and were waiting for the Al Messilahexamined and declared unfit for export.

Among other things, the NRDBV has marked animals that are too sick or far pregnant so that they are not loaded onto the ship.

“The court found that the NRDBV does act within its mandate and rights and is therefore authorized in terms of its warrant to examine all the animals in the feedlot and determine the conditions under which they are kept,” says the NRDBV.

The NRDBV further says that the well-being of the animals under Al Mawashi’s care is not important enough for them (Al Mawashi).

“Animals were harmed after being carelessly shaved and then they are expected to endure a three-week journey at sea in a ship with high levels of ammonia and extreme heat, standing in their own excrement,” says the NRDBV.

The organization has therefore welcomed the court order and says it will continue to keep a close eye on the animals’ well-being.

Agri Eastern Cape, for its part, visited the port on Wednesday together with, among others, Oscar Mabuyane, Eastern Cape Prime Minister, and found that there were no “animal welfare problems”.