Question NW2611 to the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

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13 November 2020 - NW2611

Profile picture: Steyn, Ms A

Steyn, Ms A to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

With reference to the judgment by the Eastern Cape High Court, Grahamstown (details furnished), on 25 August 2020, the conditions that were required to be filled prior to departure included that a reduced number of sheep may be exported live to the Middle East and her department to monitor and ensure compliance with the guidelines of the World Organisation for Animal Health, what are the relevant details of how her department, within the time period of less than a week between the specified judgment and departure, complied with all the responsibilities of the Competent Authority, including the monitoring and evaluation of all 50 000 sheep at the point of loading; (2) what are the relevant details of how her department ensured that (a) the animals were housed and loaded correctly, including protecting them from adverse weather and minimising stress, by parties competent in the humane handling and care of animals, (b) minimum standards were set for the welfare of the animals while on board, at the end of the journey and in case of emergencies, (c) there was sufficient equipment and medication on board, including enough facilities, as well as competent handlers and vets and (d) the animals were given sufficient time to adjust to a novel diet they would receive on the ship?


(1) The judgement by the Eastern Cape High Court instructed the Department Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) to monitor the loading of the sheep and ensure that the exportation is in line with the animal welfare chapter of the Terrestrial Animal Code of the World Health Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Two Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) employed veterinarians, two Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) employed veterinarians and a DALRRD employed Animal Health Technician participated in the monitoring exercise. One DALRRD veterinarian and one DRDAR veterinarian monitored the loading at the East London harbour and the rest were monitoring the loading at the Castledale feedlot in Berlin.

The judgement also required that the officials submit affidavits to the Registrar of the Animal Improvement Act within a day of completion of the loading. This was done and the Registrar acknowledged receipt of the affidavits. The affidavits were also lodged with the Eastern Cape High Court as required.

(2) As indicated in the response to question one, five government officials participated in the monitoring of the loading exercise both at the feedlot and the harbour. This monitoring exercise was part of ensuring that the loading is done correctly and in line with the court judgement.

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