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WA Export News

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Horror animal shipload.
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2013, 07:51:03 PM »
Horror animal shipload.
 Carte Blanche ran an expos last year on the transporting of live cattle by ship to Mauritius, where they are slaughtered. In these screen grabs from the show, cattle are crushed and inhumanely treated during the trip on the MV Barkley Pearl.

Durban - A ship carrying 3 500 cattle, sheep and goats set sail for Mauritius from East London on Wednesday - leaving furious animal rights activists in its wake.

Tension ran high on the quayside, with the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) saying its inspectors were not given full access to the MV Barkly Pearl to monitor the loading of the animals.

   shippijng cattle

“The loading had continued through the night. We witnessed the foreign workers dragging the sheep by their forelegs and ears. At this stage, we were on the docks and were only able to address the issue with the exporter,” said Andries Venter, a senior NSPCA inspector.

He said a private security company had been hired to stand at the entrance to the ship and guards refused to accept a warrant the council had earlier obtained to make sure that there was no cruel and inhumane treatment.

However the attorney representing the livestock exporter, the Page Farming Trust, accused the council of not sticking to an agreement made on Monday.

Gary Stirk said the agreement allowed for an inspector to board only before and after the livestock was loaded.

“We felt the NSPCA had acted in bad faith by going behind our backs to secure the warrant despite our agreement. We went to court to overturn this decision and revert to the original agreement, which the court did,” said Stirk.

The council’s lawyer, Michal Johnson, denied there was any agreement, saying there had been an “undertaking” that there would be no abuse of the animals. “(A)nd most of this abuse happened during loading and offloading which is why we wanted to be on board during the loading,” she said.

Johnson said they issued the exporter a list of international animal transport standards and asked them to comply.

“The trust said no. We asked for an undertaking that there would not be any abuse of the animals such as tail twisting and prodding as well as no overloading. They agreed… (but) when it came to allowing a veterinarian on board… to monitor the animals, they disagreed and said we needed to speak to the ship’s owners,” she said. “We couldn’t contact them and tried the ship’s agents to get permission to go on board, without success.”

As a result of “being pushed from pillar to post”, Johnson said they went to the local magistrate’s court to secure the warrant, allowing them on board during loading.

The warrant however failed to get the inspectors on board, and the NSPCA said the exporter’s attorney then called for a meeting at the magistrate’s office.

Much to the council’s chagrin, the warrant was amended to give its personnel access to the vessel only until 6pm on Tuesday and then again for an hour after loading ended at 4am on Wednesday.

Last month the Grahamstown High Court ruled against the NSPCA when it tried to stop 2 000 animals being loaded on to the Barkly Pearl bound for Mauritius.

The council had argued it would be more humane to slaughter the cattle in SA and export the meat.

In court papers at the time, a senior NSPCA inspector said the ship was at sea for 10 days and it had taken almost 16 hours to offload all the cattle when the ship docked in Mauritius.

The ship, which has been converted and designed specifically for transporting live animals by sea, is 92m long and 16m wide. It has six decks where the cattle are housed.

The NSPCA had said cattle in the lower decks suffered the most because of the build-up of faeces and urine, making it slippery.

It also described the “incredible cruelty meted out by the Mauritian handlers who used prodders on the testicles of the bulls”.

The NSPCA claimed the cattle were beaten with planks, some of them had their tails twisted and others were kicked in the face.

The court however found that the Animal Improvement Act of 1998, in relation to the export of animals for slaughter, was not applicable in this case.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has said that although there was no legislative basis for preventing exports of live animals by sea, it was reviewing the law and had called for public input.

Meanwhile, Agence France-Press (AFP) has reported that Bruce Page, of the Page Farming Trust, had received a warning that “either you or your children will be killed if you load that ship”.

Page denied that the animals suffered during the trip to Mauritius, and said that that country’s Muslim community required live animals to slaughter for halaal meat.

September 12 2013
Daily News
« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 08:08:56 PM by WA Export News »