I wish the situation could be reversed and that all the people involved in this primitive and vile practice could change places with the sheep. InshAllah!!! Interestingly, ‘meat and animal products from Lesotho were banned by South Africa after three anthrax outbreaks were reported in the land-locked country’.
The ship, owned by livestock farmers Al Mawashi docked at East London harbour earlier this week. Staff have been screened for coronavirus.
Not even the coronavirus can stop 60 000 sheep from being ferried towards a grim fate after a ship belonging to Middle East based livestock farmers, Al Mawashi, arrived in East London earlier this week.
The deal to courier the sheep has been contentious, with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) and various other animal rights groups condemning the brutal conditions the sheep would be exposed to onboard.
The cargo vessel docked at East London harbour and was able to successfully load the sheep onboard despite new regulations preventing the crew, who had been onboard while the ship travelled from Australia to the middle east and finally to East London, from getting off.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula declared that a ban on cruise liners would take effect after six passengers on board a cruise liner that docked in Cape Town this week presented with symptoms similar to those of Covid-19, but the starkly less glamorous vessel was able to dock without the Department of Health knowing.
The Mail & Guardian reported that the crew of the vessel were ultimately not allowed to get off the vessel, and the South African contingent of the operation – local farmers who had pooled their livestock together to fulfil a lucrative agreement with Al Mashawi – were not allowed to engage with them. [link]
Crew underwent screenings
Terry Taylor, Transnet’s corporate affairs manager for the East London port, said that the screenings had taken place for those on board the ship.
“The vessel’s master has the first responsibility of advising port health of any illness onboard.”
“This is standard procedure and occurs prior to any vessel arriving in port. Port health will conduct testing or screenings on board in the event of any illness and potential contact.”
“Transnet has also implemented additional procedures for all vessels entering South African ports in line with national department of health standard operating procedures for [Covid-19] and we are working with port health and all relevant authorities in managing vessel activities.”
NSPCA court bid unsuccesful
The NSPCA have vehemently fought the deal, saying that the conditions aboard the ship are “barbaric”. In February, they detailed these conditions, saying that the vessel would be overcrowded and overheated.
They were unsuccessful in obtaining a court interdict at the Grahamstown Magistrate court last week, with Afriforum having supported their bid. Al Mawashi challenged the application and were successful.
“It is important to note that, although this decision was not completely favourable, the NSPCA is constitutionally charged to protect the animals in South Africa and that is exactly what we intend to continue to do” said Marcelle Meredith, NSPCA executive director.
Al Mawashi managing director Ilyaas Ally said that the NSPCA would be able to observe the loading process and inspect the ship.
“We need to explicitly state that we are not evading transparency,” Ally said. “Department of agriculture vets have inspected the vessel, and secondly, the NSPCA in the court order gives three inspectors access to the ship. The inspectors are currently on the vessel.”