Al Mawashi South Africa (Al Mawashi SA), South Africa’s largest exporter of live animals and South African subsidiary of Kuwait stock-exchange-listed KLTT, announced that the Al Messilah departed the port of East London on 3 September at 8:00 Central African Time.

The live export of the 50 310 sheep is critical for food security, religious sacrifice, and consumer preference for freshly slaughtered meat in Middle Eastern countries.

Accredited and renowned Australian live export veterinary expert Dr Colin Scrivener will be travelling with the animals. Dr Scrivener is a registered veterinarian and has practised for 40 years. He has extensive experience in the transport of live sheep by sea. Accredited stock handlers will work alongside Dr Scrivener to care for the livestock and monitor animal health during the voyage.

The Grahamstown High Court instructed the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to monitor and ensure compliance with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines.

Ilyaas Ally, managing director of Al Mawashi SA, said that in order for the Al Messilah to depart, the Grahamstown High Court required a report from the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) that shows compliance with the humane and ethical treatment of animals before the export permit could be issued.

Low risk of mortality

During its March 2020 voyage, Al Mawashi SA reported a 0,14% mortality rate. This figure is lower than the average of feedlot mortalities experienced on South African livestock farms.

“Careful voyage planning, a world-class ventilation system, access to feed and water, and good stocking density providing ample space for animals and allow us to achieve great results,” said Ally.

Last month, Agri Eastern Cape chastised animal welfare groups. “The NSPCA needs to re-evaluate their position. Instead of focusing their attention on areas where animal welfare is also of paramount importance to industry role-players, they need to become more active in areas where animal abuse is intentionally perpetrated daily.”

The statement further noted: “The worldwide practice of shipping live animals to address the food security concerns of food-insecure nations is the only practical method of ensuring an affordable quality animal protein source for these countries. The growth of this export industry is particularly important for the economy of the Eastern Cape and emerging farmer development, especially within the communal areas of our province.”

The voyage is anticipated to take between 14 to 21 days before the Al Messilah arrives at her discharge port. We thank all parties involved for making this shipment a success. – Press release, Al Mawashi South Africa