You may be familiar with the controversy around live animal exports in Australia. Earlier this year, executives of Emanuel Exports were actually charged with animal cruelty after thousands of the live sheep they sent to the Middle East (M.E.) died in horrible conditions while in transit.
But the practice, that has had animal welfare advocates up in arms for years Down Under, doesn't just happen there. South Africa is also guilty of sending millions of live animals, like sheep, to the M.E. where they are sure to either die a slow painful death en route or be dispatched with horrific cruelty when they finally arrive at their destination.
In fact, according to the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) of South Africa, one company, Kuwaiti owned importer Al Mawashi, has been shipping animals from South Africa to the Middle East since 1980. In that time more than 1.5 million animals have died onboard their death vessels. That's more than 38,000 dead animals per year!
Despite these horrific numbers and activist objections, the South African Government still gave Al Mawashi the green light on their recent shipment.Thus, 60,000 sheep were shoveled aboard the vessel Al Shuwaikh and beelined to certain death.
Onboard this is what they face: food and water troughs full of excrement, dangerously high levels of ammonia within their enclosure and mistreatment at the hands of workers. For those that arrive at their port of call, a different, yet equally horrific fate awaits. They are roughly handled by untrained staff, shoved in car trunks and then slaughtered, usually while fully conscious.
This treatment is completely in opposition to South African standards of animal treatment as per the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962. So if South Africa wouldn't allow animals to be treated with such disregard on their shores, why would they allow their sheep and other animals to endure such treatment abroad?
It is time to end cruel live animal exports in South Africa, especially to countries that have a horrible record of animal mistreatment. Sign the petition and tell the government to act now to ban this lowly practice.