As we celebrate Ban Live Exports International Awareness Day on 14 June 2024, the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) welcomes the recent surge in public concern regarding the export of live animals by sea, including the triumph by our counterparts in the United Kingdom in achieving a ban of export of live animal by sea destined for slaughter.

For decades, the NSPCA has been the leading voice against live animal exports in South Africa. We have not only taken legal action to achieve a complete ban, but we have also taken the unprecedented action of physically inspecting the loading and the vessels – a first of its kind for any animal welfare organisation in the world. Our tireless work has prevented tens of thousands of animals making the perilous journey – where they would have only been inhumanely slaughtered on the other side. Furthermore, we have ensured that, at the very least and in the parameters of our authority, that all livestock export principles have been adhered to, this whilst international companies come to South Africa to avoid regulations they commit to elsewhere.

The recent exposure by the NSPCA of the Al Kuwait in Cape Town, a world-first, serves as a stark reminder of the industry’s inherent cruelty. This incident, sparking public outrage, has internationally brought to light the NSPCA’s efforts.

Our interventions in the last shipment from East London during April 2024, including legal action and operational costs, amounted to approximately R720,000. Crucial litigation includes our action to ban the export of live animals across the equator, specifically due to the heat stress the animals suffer when crossing the equator; the NSPCA’s success when we emerged victorious from an urgent interdict application launched by the exporters in March 2024, in an attempt to prevent the NSPCA from conducting its duties; and the appeal of the East London Chief Magistrate’s decision to limit the NSPCA’s powers in execution of warrants. While achieving a complete ban remains our ultimate goal, such a significant financial burden cannot be sustained indefinitely.

In our fight against the export of live animals by sea, we are reminded by the NSPCA’s successes in preventing and stopping cruel international practices from taking roots in South Africa, like the establishment of Greyhound Racing, mulesing of sheep, calve roping, and Foie gras farming, to name a few. These fights too were not won overnight, but our unwavering commitment to preventing animal cruelty was the token to success.

The NSPCA has to approach the Courts for each and every shipment to ensure that the best mitigation possible will be adhered to in this inherently cruel trade. In the interim, the NSPCA calls for enforceable regulations and we will continue to work towards a complete ban, while also assisting countries like Brazil, where the Al Kuwait commenced its journey, and New Zealand, by providing evidence to support their own efforts to end this cruel practice, in both their legislatures and courts.

The NSPCA remains at the forefront of this fight, with thought leaders like Animals Australia firmly by our side. We urge all stakeholders to recognise the depth and longevity of our commitment and to support us in this battle.

Download NSPCA State of Live Export Report.

Donate to the NSPCA

If you are as passionate about animals and their well-being as we are, consider supporting our causes by donating here.

Latest News Posts