On June 14, 2015, a live export disaster occurred which claimed the lives of 13 000 sheep. These sheep were carried onboard the Trust1 cargo ship in Romania and transported to Jordan, where over 5,000 sheep died from thirst, malnutrition, and exhaustion. Before returning to port, the crew was ordered by port authorities to discard the carcasses at sea and feed the remaining animals. Instead, the captain of the ship bolted. Eventually, the Trust1 set sail again, but failed to dock at several ports over the following two weeks. failing to land at a number of places over the next two weeks.
On June 14th 2015, the Trust1 finally docked in Somalia, but by this point all 13,000 of the sheep had tragically lost their lives.
Now, every year animal activists from around the world come together on this date to call for an end to this abhorrent trade in remembrance of this tragedy.
Each year, tragedies occur on vessels at harbours, at sea and in destination counties that lack proper welfare regulations. These tragedies harm animals and humans. Live export is becoming increasingly more criticized by counties around the world, with more and more phase outs and bans against live export coming into effect.
It is time for South Africa to follow suit.
The NSPCA has been relentlessly fighting against the export of live sheep from South Africa to the Middle East since October 2019- when the first vessel from Al Mawashi (a Kuwaiti exporter) docked on our shores.
Since then, four shipments, carrying a total of 227 231 of our sheep, have been made to the Middle East in the blistering heat.
Typically, when live export vessels cross the equator, the live sheep are exposed to dangerous levels of ammonia, rough seas, extreme heat stress, rapid spread of disease, injuries, bullying, dirty conditions, exhaustion and even death.
The NSPCA has not given up its fight to protect our sheep from live export. In the beginning of May 2022, The NSPCA issued a summons in the East Cape High Court Division, for this matter to be heard as an action trial.
The trial will focus on the unbearable heat that sheep experience when they are sent over the equator from South Africa.
This Ban Live Export International Awareness Day, the NSPCA will be joining Compassion in World Farming in a Twitter storm calling on all the Ministers of Agriculture across the globe to #BanLiveExport.
“ The worldwide live export trade is based on the acceptance of suffering, with animals being sent on perilous voyages halfway around the world only to be slaughtered for their meat once they arrive in destination countries. Not only is live export cruel, but it is also unnecessary, and we will do whatever it takes to bring this trade down.” – Marcelle Meredith, Executive Director.
The NSPCA appeals to the public to donate towards our battle against live export. Funding will be needed in order to continue paying the legal costs involved in fighting for our sheep.
Public Relations Officer