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EC court allows export of thousands of live sheep

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The Grahamstown High Court has turned down an application from the NSPCA for an order to prevent the export of thousands of sheep to the Middle East.

Acting Judge, Nceba Dukada, on Tuesday ordered that no more than 56 000 sheep could be transported from the Castledale feedlot in Berlin to the Al Messilah, a vessel belonging to Al Ma-washi, which is berthed in East London.

He also ordered the Eastern Cape Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to monitor this process with specific reference to requirements of the World Organisation on Animal Health regarding the transporting of animals by sea.

Agri Eastern Cape meanwhile said it welcomed the judgment and called on the NSPCA to re-evaluate its position and focus attention on areas where wide-scale “animal abuse is intentionally being perpetrated daily.”

The organisation said it supported the export of live animals by sea if done humanely and responsibly.

“The growth and expansion of this export industry is particularly important for the economy of the Eastern Cape and emerging farmer development,” Agri Eastern Cape said.

The NSPCA has consistently campaigned against the export of live animals, questioning how they are packed onto the ship and that adverse weather conditions increase their mortality rate.

However, the animal welfare body declined to comment on Tuesday’s judgment saying they were consulting with their lawyers.

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