Shipping live animals is cheaper, regardless of the horrors the animals will endure before their arrival and the terrible death in store. In the case of South Africa, the ship’s destination is Mauritius, which does not have animal welfare as a priority. While BWC is against the use of animals for any reason, including food, the reality is that these animals are going to die. The question is asked, why not ship the results of local slaughter? These communities require live animals to slaughter for religious purposes. But if the animals are slaughtered in South Africa in the manner prescribed by the religious authorities, does this not satisfy these requirements? Investigations have brought to light the terrible suffering endured by these animals. Cattle, sheep and goats are shipped via the East London route. Despite all the evidence confirming the horrific suffering of all the animals, on every voyage, government and the vested interests refuse to take heed.
In March 2020 we marched against Live Export and a decision to ban this right now is imperative, because the chances of another pandemic are a reality we cannot afford to ignore. We continue to see and utilise animals as mere commodities for financial gain, at our peril.
Encouraging farmers to grow vegetables would be an excellent first step, especially in a water scarce country as we now are, as animal farming uses exceptionally large amounts of water, including that which is washed down the drain at abattoirs. As far less land is required, almost everyone could become food sufficient. Eating vegetables would ease the myriad of health issues which are diet related, from which many South Africans suffer, save water, the environment and potentially halt the next phase of diseases that are guaranteed to follow if we don’t make immediate changes. The march received national television coverage, creating awareness of the inherent suffering of the animals on board.