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EC court allows livestock trader to ship over 50k live sheep to Middle East

NSPCA is opposed to the live export of livestock via sea, claiming high summer temperatures around the Equator ‘cook’ and kill the animals.

© rafaelbenari/123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG – The Grahamstown High Court has allowed a Kuwaiti livestock trader to ship over 50,000 live sheep to the Middle East despite concerns about animal cruelty, said the animal protection group that opposed the export.

The National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) sought an urgent interim interdict against exporter Al Mawashi in June to stop the company from sailing sheep out of the East London port.

NSPCA is opposed to the live export of livestock via sea, claiming high summer temperatures around the Equator "cook" and kill the animals.

The case was heard by the Court which ruled in favour of Al Mawashi on Tuesday.

"We are devastated for the 56,000 sheep that will have to endure this treacherous journey, the undeniable cruelty that takes place on these voyages is simply unacceptable," NSPCA head Marcelle Meredith said in a statement on Wednesday.

The group intends to appeal the verdict and said reasons for the judgment had yet to be provided.

Al Mawashi South Africa told AFP it "welcomed" the ruling and would comment once reasons were made available by the judge.

Tuesday's hearing was part of a wider push by the NSPCA to block the exportation of live animals from South Africa anywhere north of the Equator.

Dates for that case have yet to be set.

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