Dead and sick animals on live animal carrier ship in South Africa

Dead and sick animals on death ship docked in South Africa
Cows on the live animal carrier ship Al Kuwait docking in Cape Town harbour, transporting 19,000 animals from Brazil to Iraq, in Cape Town, South Africa, credit: Reuters / Esa Alexander

The live animal carrier ship Al Kuwait, transporting 19,000 animals from Brazil to Iraq, sparked outrage when it docked in Cape Town, South Africa. Upon inspection, three animals were found dead, and many were covered in their own feces.

The vessel docked at Cape Town Harbour on Sunday and departed on Wednesday. During this period, residents complained about a foul odor in the city’s center.

Inspectors from the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) boarded the ship shortly after it arrival and found the source of the stink.

The appalling odor that spread across Cape Town was linked to the horrible conditions aboard the ship. The cows had been cramped together for over two weeks. The accumulation of feces and ammonia created an environment so toxic it was detectable miles away on land.

“The feces that the cows were standing in is already basically up to the top of their hooves in some pens,” Grace le Grange, a senior inspector from the NSPCA, said.

The NSPCA confirmed that three animals were found dead and others had to be euthanized due to injuries sustained during the voyage.

Live animal transport

The incident sparked outrage among animal rights activists, who called the vessel a “death ship”. Demonstrators rallied against the practice of live animal transport on Tuesday. “We’re just here to, you know, be a voice for those that don’t have a voice,” one of the protestors said.

Even though the animals were found dead, sick and covered in their feces, the ship departed South Africa. The animals will have to endure another two weeks onboard the ship on their way to Iraq, where they will be slaughtered. According to MarineTraffic, the ship is set to arrive on March 5th.

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