Outcry over ship exporting sheep ‘unfair’

The controversial Al Shuwaikh vessel opened its doors to members of the media and National Council of SPCAs on Sunday, following a public outcry over its exporting of live sheep to Kuwait in the Middle East.

Kuwaith registered livestock vessel Al Shuwaikh docks at the East London harbour.
Kuwaith registered livestock vessel Al Shuwaikh docks at the East London harbour.
Image: RANDELL ROSKRUGE

Businessman Prince Sivile Mabandla said the directors of Al Mawashi, a Kuwait importer, “have nothing to hide about the state of the ship”.

Sixty thousand sheep are expected to be loaded on the vessel this week, destined for the Middle East.

Mabandla said: “This is the best of all of the vessels that have come to East London. It comes with a permanent vet.

“We feel like this has been unfairly managed, especially by the SPCA.

“We woke up last Monday to unfounded media reports around the welfare of the animals while in transit to the Middle East.

“The allegation was that animals are being mistreated and abused. It has taken us aback because this is the first time this vessel has come to SA.”

Mabandla said no one from SA had been to inspect the vessel before Sunday’s visit.

“We strongly feel they should have waited to get an opportunity to inspect it and get a better understanding around the programme itself so they could make informed reports.”

He said the multimillion-rand business deal would benefit several Eastern Cape commercial and emerging farmers.

“This is a rare economic opportunity for the people of the Eastern Cape, wherein both predominately black emerging farmers and commercial farmers can participate in this trading platform,” said Mabandla.

The EL harbour is the only SA port that exports live animals.

NSPCA spokesperson Meg Wilson had not responded to a Dispatch request for comment on their visit by the time of going to print on Sunday.


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