The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) confirms the departure of the Al Kuwait, the livestock carrier that recently docked in Cape Town Harbour.  The vessel will set sail for Iraq this evening, after the required feed is loaded onto the vessel.

The NSPCA, with the assistance of its member Society – the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, conducted an inspection of the vessel from Sunday, 18 February 2024 to Tuesday, 20 February 2024.  The scenes on the vessel were abhorrent, with an extreme build-up of faeces and urine, and animals having no option but to rest in dams of their own excrement.

Compromised animals were discovered, including diseased and injured animals.  The NSPCA humanely euthanised eight cows aboard the ship and others  were found dead.  NSPCA Veterinary Consultant, Dr Bryce Marock, ensured veterinary treatment of other animals.

This incident serves as a stark reminder that the live export of animals by sea is a gruesome and outdated practice that inflicts unnecessary suffering on sentient beings.  It underscores the urgent need for legislative reform and heightened global awareness to end this cruelty once and for all.  This method of trade causes pain, suffering and distress to many animals, including high mortality rates occurring during the voyage.

The NSPCA stands firm in its assertion that no country possesses the capacity or competence to ensure or guarantee adequate animal welfare standards aboard livestock vessels.

The NSPCA expresses gratitude towards the South African government for permitting the ship to dock for the crucial purpose of loading feed.  The potential consequences of leaving those animals without sustenance during the arduous journey are unfathomable.  We appreciate the government’s recognition, now more than ever, of the necessity for regulations rather than mere guidelines regarding the export of animals.  While a complete ban on live animal exports via sea remains the ultimate goal, we urge the government to refrain from authorising another shipment from South Africa until these regulations are firmly established as a matter of utmost urgency.

The NSPCA extends its heartfelt gratitude to the unwavering support of the public, both locally and internationally.  We are extremely grateful for Animals Australia, our Australian counterpart for their dedication to our cause.  Together, we strive towards a future where the exploitation and suffering of animals in the name of commerce are no longer tolerated.

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