Stop Live Export SA campaign planned to mark Ban Live Exports International Awareness Day on Friday 14 June

June 11, 2024

Civil society organisation,  Stop Live Export SA (SLESA) will be joining citizens and activists around the world on Friday 14 June as its Cape Town supporters commemorate this year’s Ban Live Exports International Awareness Day in the form of a public protest in Cape Town’s CBD commencing at 3.30pm.

The global protest, originally started by Compassion in World Farming nine years ago, marks the live export tragedy that occurred on the same day in 2015 when 13,000 sheep tragically lost their lives during a long sea journey from Romania to Somalia. Along the way thousands of sheep died from dehydration, starvation and exhaustion.

This year’s commemoration comes in the wake of a victory for the global ban live export movement as Great Britain has recently banned live exports for fattening and slaughter. Almost simultaneously, Australia announcement that live sheep exports by sea would be banned from 2028. In Brazil, the federal court also ruled last year that no live animals should be exported from the country’s ports.

Just weeks ago, SLESA, together with the local arm of global animal welfare organisation, FOUR PAWS, co-authored and delivered an open letter to the National Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development (DALRRD), addressed to Minister Thoko Dididza, calling for the prohibition of the export of live animals by sea. It was signed and endorsed by 54 other animal welfare and social justice organisations across South Africa. Read the letter here:

SLESA spokesperson, Michelle Taberer says: It’s clear that the recent positive action taken by the British and Australian governments is in response to campaigns by concerned citizens and animal welfare campaigners around the world. We hope to inspire South African’s to join this social justice movement by protesting against this barbaric pain-for-profit trade that inflicts unnecessary cruelty on thousands of sentient animals just so they can be slaughtered in destination countries, mainly in the Middle East.”

 “Our message is clear—we call on the South African government to end this vile and unjust trade.”

 Animals travelling on board live export vessels are exposed to extended and unacceptable cruelty as they are packed together in pens for up to three or four weeks, often in unbearable heat, which can cause extreme heat stress. The animals are also exposed to the perpetual noise of the ship’s motors and are forced to stand in their own excrement, breathing in ammonia, which leads to respiratory problems and sometimes blindness and death. Many animals, especially those that are too weak to stand, get trampled and suffer injuries that can also lead to extended suffering and death.

This Ban Live Exports International Awareness Day, we encourage the public to stand up for animals by

  • signing the SLESA petition;
  • attending the SLESA protest on Friday 14 June from 3.3pm on the Fan Bridge crossing over Buitengracht Street in the Cape Town CBD
  • sharing this video on social media using the hashtag #BanLiveExports.

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