Since the shipment in October 2019, the NSPCA has attempted to gain information from both the exporters and the government, of when the next shipment is scheduled, to no avail.

But it was recently made aware that the sheep are mounting in the feedlot, and there were in excess of 30,000 sheep in the first week of February 2020.

This number has increased by another 40,000 since 13 February 2020 – totaling 70,000 sheep. It is clear that an imminent shipment is planned.

The NSPCA has a bevy of esteemed experts, including Australian Veterinarian Dr Lynn Simpson who has first-hand experience on these ships, Professor Gareth Bath, Dr Shaun Morris, as well as our own veterinarian, Dr Bryce Marock.

It has come to light that other exporters wish to export live cattle by sea to Cambodia. The voyage is even longer than that of the Kuwait exports, as it exceeds 21 days.

This case is not only important for this shipment of sheep, but for all the animals that are destined for this harrowing journey to various countries around the globe – we simply cannot allow the perpetuation and growth of this cruel and brutal trade,

...explained Senior Inspector Grace De Lange, manager of the NSPCA’s Farm Animal Protection Unit.

In November 2019, the NSPCA laid criminal charges in terms of the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962 against the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), the owners and captain of the Al Shuwaikh vessel, the Page Farming Trust, and individuals from the Page Farming Trust following the harrowing days spent at the East London harbour by Inspectors of the NSPCA in October 2019, when approximately 57,000 sheep were loaded for shipment to the Middle East.

The matter is with the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the investigation is still ongoing.

Conditions on board the Al Shuwaikh in October 2019, included dangerously high ammonia levels on some of the enclosed decks, widespread diarrhoea, with much of it falling into the feed and water troughs, sheep in respiratory distress, together with other serious welfare concerns.