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Johannesburg - The NSPCA urged government on Thursday to attend to the issue of livestock exported by sea for slaughter.
It said a court had agreed that transporting cattle by ship was cruel.
“The matter before us is of extreme importance,” said National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) executive director, Marcelle Meredith.
“This has to be addressed as a priority. We shall also meet with our legal team.”
Earlier this month, Grahamstown High Court judge Jean Nepgen ruled against the NSPCA's application to make the matter urgent but agreed that transporting cattle by ship was cruel, Meredith said.
Nepgen found that the Animal Improvement Act did not apply to exporting livestock for slaughter.
Meredith said that on August 24 a livestock carrier, the Barkly Pearl, was loaded with cattle in East London in the Eastern Cape and set sail for Mauritius.
Alternatives to exporting animals by sea existed and the animals needed legal protection, Meredith said.
The department could not immediately confirm whether it had been approached.