The South African Government has, once again, joined hands with Al Mawashi to export thousands of South African animals, of which the majority is unlikely to come from small scale farmers, to the Middle East for slaughter in June this year. 

Since 2019 the NSPCA has been fighting for the countless animals that were, and still continue to be, subjected to the inherently cruel trade of exporting live animals by sea.

Recently, the Government released draft guidelines regarding the welfare of live animals being exported by sea. In these guidelines, the Government fully acknowledges and opposes the export of live animals by sea during May to August, which are the hottest months of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. In 2020, the Government Director responsible for Animal Welfare matters at DALRRD recommended that, “As the country, we should not allow exportation of livestock to the Middle East during the months of May until end of August of every year”. Considering that this was just a mere recommendation and not an instruction, Al Mawashi’s shipment went ahead last year.

It is shameful that the same Government that drafted the guidelines in 2021 and recommended that export does not take place between May and August, has given the green light to Al Mawashi to ship South Africa’s animals north of the equator in one of the hottest months of the year AGAIN!

It is notable to mention that Australia’s ban on live export begins in June and our Government is fully aware that Al Mawashi has been exporting sheep and cattle from Australia on back to back journeys before their ban comes into effect. Al Mawashi’s subsidiary has stated that they will do as many shipments in Australia as possible and once their ban comes into play, Al Mawashi will come for South Africa’s animals.

Unlike the Australian Government, who have taken a stand for their animals, our Government appears to be powerless against Al Mawashi.

There is a plethora of reasons as to why the export of live animals by sea is cruel. There is rarely a journey on any vessel at any time of the year, where many sheep are not discovered to be green/purple and bloated among their penmates. It is safe to say that such sheep did not die instantaneously, but were ill/injured and were only discovered long after their deaths. Inanition, pneumonia, compaction, being crushed alive, infectious diseases etc. are just part of this torturous journey. While the captain is sitting in his air-conditioned cabin, some of these helpless animals will end up being cooked alive on the vessel as temperatures reach unendurable heights (according to uncontroversial scientific literature and observation).

The NSPCA  has been in and out of court, moving from a normal magistrates court all the way to the constitutional court, fighting to protect our animals. It is frustrating that while we wait for our day to stand up and prove why live export should be completely banned, thousands of our animals are being allowed to slip through the Governments fingers and onto Al Mawashi’s vessels.

We call on the public to please support us financially as we fight to protect our animals and try to put an end to live export in our country. These innocent creatures depend on us all to act in their best interests.


Account: SPCA National Council of SA
Bank: Standard Bank
Account No.: 220 639 744
Branch Code: 051 001
Reference: LIVE EXPORT
Swift code for international EFTs: SBZAZAJJ


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