The unacceptable, and unnecessary, risk of live export has once again been brought to light by the blockage of the Suez Canal by a large cargo ship- The Ever Green. The cargo ship became wedged in the Suez Canal on the 23rd March 2021. Since then, over 200 vessels have been blocked in the canal and gulf, unable to pass, either having to turn away or remain waiting until the ship could be freed.

Of these 200 vessels, 20 are carrying more than 200 000 live animals (most of which were exported from Spain and Romania) who are now also stuck in the canal after already having endured a lengthy journey from their exporting countries.

Just recently, we witnessed the catastrophic effect live export had on over 2000 cattle on board the Elbeik and Karim Allah, two vessels that tried to export animals for over three months at sea and failed. Ultimately, the condition of the animals deteriorated so badly that Spanish authorities ordered both ships to make port in Spain and the surviving animals of that disaster, in their poor condition, were humanely euthanized.

We now sit once again with an issue where the suffering of THOUSANDS of animals could have been prevented had live export been abolished.

The 200 000 animals stuck on board vessels in the canal now face the risk of dehydrating, starving and eventually dying if they remain in the canal. Alternatively, the vessels carrying the animals will have to try and find alternative routes to their destination, extending the period of time at which these animals are at sea which is also detrimental to their health.

While there are reports stating that the Ever Green has been freed, traffic is still backed up in the canal and the vessels may remain at a standstill for a few more days until traffic is flowing normally again.

The NSPCA reiterates the fact that the export of live animals by sea is an archaic and cruel practise. The events in Spain and now with the Suez Canal further emphasize the importance of the NSPCAs fight against live export which we will continue until the very end.

“We remember the victims of this callous trade whenever we bring forth an application to end the trade in our country, when we hear of live export horror across the globe and we say that we will not stop fighting, not now, not ever. Not until every ship exporting live animals in South Africa is emptied.” – Marcelle Meredith, Executive Director.

We implore the public and all our supporters to please support us financially to continue this necessary and ongoing fight.

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