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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 and Kuwait, which do 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.

The growth and ongoing sustainability of South Africa’s agricultural sector should not be premised on practices which are irreconcilable with the principles of our constitution, and with the findings of our courts1. Industry practices shall comply at all times with the provisions of S2(1) of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962. Live animal exports may a profitable business, but less so than the exportation of processed meats.

The 2019 full policy statement of the Livestock Welfare Coordinating Committee, which includes in its signatories The Department of Land Reform and Agriculture (DLRA) and the Gauteng Department: Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD), as well as the farming representation and veterinarian bodies. The LWCC stated its position thus: “There is voluminous supportive evidence available to show that transporting livestock by sea is inherently dangerous to animal welfare and must therefore not be allowed. The international reputation of South Africa will be enhanced if we take a principled position against this inhumane and unacceptable practice. We therefore strongly recommend that further exports of live animals for the purpose of slaughter no longer be allowed and that a formal ban on this practice be instituted.”

The Muslim Judical Council Halaal Trust Shaykh Achmat Sedick has spoken out against the live export of sheep, questioning how the SA Government could permit the shipping of tens of thousands of animals to the Middle East2. These animals will not have had ‘tay-yib’ which means wholesome and humane treatment.

Under South African law, the type of suffering that the sheep are likely to endure en route is prohibited and unlawful.

Beauty Without Cruelty has worked on this with memorandums to parliament on behalf over three dozen welfare organisations, and awareness through the media and will continue until this trade, inherently cruel and unethical, has ended.