The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) live export matter was back in the Grahamstown High Court on 06 August 2020.

A very long first day was spent arguing the merits of the case in the NSPCA’s application to interdict the export of live sheep across the equator by companies Al Mawashi (Pty) Ltd and LTTC. Much time was spent debating the NSPCA’s urgency by the first and second respondents counsel. Adv. Kevin Hopkins eloquently argued on behalf of the NSPCA, in essence, on behalf of the sheep currently quarantined at the feedlot in Berlin in the Eastern Cape. Adv. Hopkins engaged Honourable Judge Dukada who expressed considerable interest in his Heads of Arguments.

Expert witness statements by international veterinary experts such as Dr Lynn Simpson who accompanied 57 Australian live animal voyages to the Middle East, Dr Sue Foster of Vets Against Live Export (VALE), as well as leading South African sheep expert and chairman of the Livestock Welfare Coordinating Committee (LWCC), Emeritus Professor Gareth Bath and the NSPCA’s veterinary consultant, Dr Bryce Marock, NSPCA veterinarian, formed part of the argument presented by Adv. Hopkins. Such evidence all indicate immense suffering on-board these vessels, evidence which impelled the NSPCA to seek relief from the Courts in the first place.

Adv. Hopkins briefed Judge Dukada that the NSPCA was expressly charged by the Constitutional Court to prevent cruelty to animals as handed down in judgment by Judge Khampepe in National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and Another (CCT1/16) [2016] ZACC 46; 2017 (1) SACR 284 (CC); 2017 (4) BCLR 517 (CC) (8 December 2016), in addition to the organisation’s mandate in terms of the Animals Protection Act, No. 71 of 1962 and SPCA Act No. 169 of 1993. Such mammoth accountability compels the NSPCA to implement all available resources to achieve its objectives in the prevention of cruelty to animals and that is why we are in the High Court today, stated Ms Marcelle Meredith, CEO of the NSPCA.

The day ended with Adv. Johan de Waal arguing on behalf of the first and second respondents. The hearing will reconvene on 07 August 2020 with more arguments to follow, however, judgment may be reserved and only delivered next week.

We trust that justice will prevail in this significant High Court case, said Ms Meredith.


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