07 September 2020 MEDIA RELEASE THE AL MESSILAH SAILS FOR KUWAIT
This statement is issued on behalf of the President of the Agri Eastern Cape, Doug Stem.
After stopping over in Port Elizabeth to re-bunker, due to unplanned fuel usage as a result of it’s extended stay in the East London Harbour, the Al Messilah is well on its way to the Middle East. Video footage taken on board, show that the animals have settled down, with more than adequate space, food and water. The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, as the competent authority monitored the loading processes, with up to seven veterinarian’s at times in attendance, to ensure compliance with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines and prescripts and cleared the ship for departure. Agri Eastern Cape has always maintained that the export of live animals by sea can be done in a humane and responsible manner giving due consideration lo animal welfare. The worldwide practise of shipping live animals to address 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 and expansion 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.
Agri Eastern Cape would like to acknowledge the important role played by Agri South Africa and it’s President Mr Pierre Vercuil in facilitating communication and meetings between important role-players within the red meal sector who also have the humane treatment of animals as a priority while acknowledging that the live export of animals by sea is necessary for food security and agricultural development. These organizations, together with affected role-players, under the guidance of Agri SA will work together going forward to ensure that codes of best practise currently in place are further developed and enhanced going forward. End.