Animals suffer during long-distance transport
We want to see:
- An end to long-distance transport of live animals in favour of a ‘carcass-only' trade
- An end to sea transport
For more information on this issue, click here to read more on Border Wars
NSPCA Inspectors regularly monitor the transport of farm animals to ensure that current laws are upheld and that suffering is minimised. Constant vigilance by our Inspectors is required to ensure that animals are handled humanely and compassionately over minimal distances. Animal welfare problems include the use of inappropriate vehicles, overcrowding and associated injuries and long-distance travel.
Farm animals are traded and treated as commodities. The transportation of animals is therefore merely a means to facilitate money changing hands, which results in animals being subjected to harsh conditions in order to arrive at their respective buyers' doors. Long-distance transport includes animals being brought in from other African countries, as well as the export of South African farmed animals to other countries.
Long-distance road transport inherently holds stress factors for animals since it is extremely difficult to ensure that the animals do not trample each other. These animals are generally not accustomed to being confined to the limited space provided, and in some cases fragile and dominant animals are transported together, which results in injury and death. Animals also cannot be fed or watered.
Further to the above, due to the stressors placed on these animals, their immune systems are weakened, which results in animals succumbing to illness when adverse weather conditions prevail.
The NSPCA is working closely with the South African Bureau of Standards to establish a private standard with the farming industry to set control measures in place for the transportation of livestock by road.
The NSPCA is opposed to the live export of animals for the purpose of slaughter. This practice has been in existence for decades and the NSPCA has joined hands with several other countries in calling for a ban on the live export of animals by sea.
Research has revealed the unnecessary suffering of animals whilst in transit.
In South Africa the NSPCA is not alone in opposing this practice and is supported by both the Muslim Judicial Council (farm animals are generally exported by sea to Mauritius for religious purposes) as well as the Livestock Welfare Coordinating Committee. Further to this, several veterinarians have supported the NSPCA in its opposition. The NSPCA is in the process of submitting research findings and supporting opposition to several national authorities to prevent the future export of animals by sea.
Updated: 3 July 2013