Sheep shipment approved
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has granted the Al Shuwaikh vessel an export permit to transport 60 000 to Kuwait, in the Middle East after a two-week battle with animal rights activists, National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA).
“The availability of international markets to consume the livestock we have as the province will benefit the province and its people economically. Though we appreciate the acceptance of the provincial livestock by the international markets, we, however, are interested in the value chain that is derived from livestock. We are specifically interested in the wool and it has to be processed in the province,” provincial department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform spokesperson Ayongezwa Lungisa had said.
What needed to be ascertained is whether the planned shipment of 60 -65 000 sheep to the Middle East meets the South African Standards for the Export of Livestock. A State Veterinarian must conduct an inspection on the health of the animals, not just the NSPCA, as mandated by the government. Al Mawashi Pty is certified by the Australian government to export livestock; however, this certification needs to be obtained from this country’s government.
According to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), all movement of animals and animal products poses a certain disease risk. Since the importing country is going to be exposed to risk, it is only logical that it will be the one to set the requirements for risk reduction.
The release of footage covering on-board treatment of sheep, over a series of voyages to the Middle East, alarmed the Australian government in 2018, leading to a ban of live sheep exports. However, after consultations and adjustments, the ban was lifted earlier this year.
Some of the recommendations that came out of this process were that the number of animals being transported must be reduced, and there must be an independent audit of ship ventilation systems.
Government-appointed observers were also included on voyages. The new settings imposed substantial restrictions on vessels wishing to participate in the trade depending on the month, their ventilation capabilities, the cargo they intend to carry and the destinations involved.