"The stench is unbearable"

Ship with 19,000 cattle docked in Cape Town

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20.02.2024 10:07

The stench of a ship with thousands of cattle on board in the harbor of the South African tourist metropolis of Cape Town has caused an uproar. In the center of the city with around five million inhabitants and in the surrounding area, there was an "unimaginably" strong smell of manure. The ship was carrying 19,000 cattle on their way from Brazil to Iraq.

The ship Al Kuwait docked on Sunday in Cape Town harbor, which borders directly on the city center. The South African animal welfare association NSPCA (The National Council of SPCAs, the largest and oldest animal welfare organization in South Africa) had inspected the Al Kuwait and pointed out in a statement "the terrible conditions" of the animals, which had already been on board for two and a half weeks.

South African media are reporting an eight-day voyage. The ship is said to have docked in Cape Town to store food, water, medicine and feed for the crew and animals.

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If the smell is so horrible, imagine the conditions in which the animals are kept on board!

Ein User auf X

Voyage lasts another 24 days
However, the conditions on board are staggering: animals are "deep in excrement, urine and ammonia". "The stench on board is unimaginable," said a veterinary advisor to the association. Dead cattle were also found and some had to be euthanized.

Above all, the supply of medication to the animals was more than inadequate. The correct tablets were often not administered. It is also unclear whether the ship is being cleaned at sea, as the animal welfare organization was informed.

There is uproar on social networks
"I live eight kilometers from the port and still smell this terrible stench," writes one user on X. Another complains: "If the smell is so horrible, imagine the conditions in which the animals are kept on board!" One user notes: "This must be a real horror transport ... the poor cattle!"

The NSPCA organization had already sued the company that owns Al Kuwait in 2019. In 2022, there was an initial success: the planned shipment of 55,000 to 85,000 sheep to Kuwait was stopped, reports the Daily Maverick.

The city council had initially assumed that the stench was coming from a faulty sewage system in Cape Town. It was not until several hours later that the authorities traced the cause back to the ship transporter.

Ship at sea for another 24 days
According to the city authorities, the ship set sail again on Monday evening and is now on its way to Iraq. The freighter and animals are not expected in the port of Basra for another 24 days.

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