AL MAWASHI SA Responds to NSPCA’s Latest & Tiresome Mistruths


East London, 22 June 2021

Al Mawashi South Africa has rubbished NSPCA’s latest anti live exports social media misinformation, which has been jettisoned into the public domain as a live shipment loading operation is currently underway at our Berlin Castledale feedlot, and at the Port of East London.

In several posts, NSPCA continues to make false and misleading claims. While less than 0,57 % of their total Facebook follower population are interacting with their live export mistruths, it is also interesting to note how NSPCA appears to have lost the support of South African agenda-setting news and media. For months, we have warned and predicted that the NSPCA’s excessive use of lies will erode its credibility. The use of adventurous and exaggerated claims in its heads of argument at both the Supreme Court of Appeal, and at High and Magistrate courts are also perhaps the reason why it has failed on several occasions with litigation.

We debunk NSPCA’s latest tiresome claims and mistruths (once more):

• To begin, from a commercial perspective it would not make sense for Al Mawashi not to prioritise animal welfare and health at feedlot, during terrestrial transport and during vessel journeys.

• Concerning NSPCA’s claims that the OIE compliant Al Messilah vessel is a ‘ship of death,’ and that animals are subjected to harrowing experiences, this claim is nothing more than an invention of a fertile and desperate mind. Al Mawashi SA reminds the NSPCA since we began live exports, we achieved a mortality rate of less than 1% on all shipments. To put this into perspective: animal survival is better on our vessel than on terrestrial feedlots and farms in South Africa where commercial farmers benchmarks mortality rates of farmed animals at 3,5% as a best practice standard. The ship should be called the ship of life: this based on the excellent animal welfare outcomes, and the way in which livestock farmers’ livelihoods are being supported.

• The NSPCA lacks basic understanding of animal husbandry practices and of international laws and best practice codes governing the transportation of animals by sea. In their latest communication, they raise concerns about animals standing in their own faeces and urine. The issue of animal excrement should be understood from the perspective of the guidelines by the World Animal Health Organisations (OIE) which we follow as well as standard / basic feedlot farming practices for terrestrial feedlots. In terrestrial feedlots for sheep, feedlot operators only remove animal excrement once or twice a year, depending on the thickness of the manure pad. The same basic management principle of terrestrial feedlots applies for livestock carrier vessel feedlot pens as per the OIE. This is because manure is trampled down by sheep to create a firm pad underfoot for animals. As per OIE, the vessels should only be cleaned and disinfected after every journey.

• Concerning claims of animals been trampled by each other on the vessel, Al Mawashi SA uses scientific stocking density planning methods. In the vessel pens, sheep can assume their natural position, lie down, and adopt a normal lying posture. Calculations for the space allowance for each animal is done scientifically – weight of animals, climatic conditions, breed, amongst other. Spacing is constantly maintained and adjusted accordingly during the journey.

• In relation to claims of rough seas, advanced weather planning systems are used to chart through passages of oceans that are not subjected to adverse conditions. Climatic data and sea condition forecasts are carefully considered to chart oceanic routes and to ensure the vessel avoids rough seas and / or storms.

• With regards claims of heat stress and ventilation, NSPCA lost several cases as this was the main head of argument presented to courts by their legal counsel. The Al Messilah is equipped with ventilation systems that supply fresh air and remove excessive heat, humidity and noxious fumes (such as ammonia and carbon monoxide). Under warm and hot conditions, the ship’s ventilation systems provide adequate convective cooling. There are large numbers of supply and exhaust fans taking fresh air in and then removing it to ensure a constant circulation. Each fan is fitted with an alarm system which can be reacted to in real time by engineers and electricians on board. Vessels are also fitted with additional fans as part of their contingency planning. Ventilation systems on livestock vessels are independently verified.

• In addition, our vessel is equipped with automatic watering and feeding systems.

In a concerning video post, an NSPCA inspector claims that hundreds of sheep have been removed and were not eligible to make the journey. We do not understand why the NSPCA is fixated to underscore this so passionately. This process is part and parcel of good animal welfare practice and is known as screening and drafting processes. Every South African feedlot will experience sick or injured animals, and this is nothing out of the norm.

Our feedlot is equipped with sick pens, veterinary care, special feed and medication with extensive husbandry practices taking place. The NSPCA fails to mention that drafting and screening process is part of live exports protocol before any journey can take place. It is concerning that the NSPCA attempts to position and portray themselves as being exclusively responsible for drafting and screening while in fact it is a joint and shared responsibility for the exporter, government authorities. Is the NSPCA present at every South African feedlot monitoring all drafting and screening processes and animal transport OR is Al Mawashi being singled out?

For far too long, the NSPCA’s leadership ship and junior communications and PR personnel have used live exports as a proxy and cash cow for the failures of their own poor and failing public fundraising strategies. They sought to condition the South African public by constructing a misleading narrative of South African live exports in media. In particular, the NSPCA relied on images of animal cruelty during an isolated international event which is not related to South African live exports or Al Mawashi SA in any way. Their leadership is being commandeered by South African and international animal rights group who are pro-vegan, and anti-red meat farming.

NSPCA has veered dangerously far from their actual mandate of animal cruelty prevention, and are rapidly transmuting into an animal rights movement, which conflicts with their statutory mandate and which should be a concern for South African lawmakers.

Yesterday, we observed NSPCA inspectors working in cohesion with Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) overseeing the loading process and our own staff working in unison. Approximately 30 000 sheep were drafted, screened, transported and loaded on the vessel without any incident. Animals not fit for travel were removed as part of the drafting and screening process. It is concerning NSPCA is putting out messaging on their social media platforms which contradicts the views and experiences of our own staff, authorities and independent vets. It is perhaps a sign of desperation to continue exploiting the South African public for money at the cost of the truth.

Despite failing with seven cases in 14 months, the NSPCA continues to deploy a Machiavellian mechanism of emotional manipulation, hoping to delude a fringe portion of followers to donate to them. We can only sympathize with their inspectors and other SPCA branches which appear, in our opinion, to be under tyrannical rule as previous cases against their leadership have suggested and reported by media in the past.

– Ends –

Source: Trevor Oertel Facebook


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