Sea freight livestock plans back on the table

15 September 2021 | Agriculture

Windhoek • [email protected]

A Namibian company’s plans to transport thousands of sheep via Namibia from South Africa for export by sea to the Middle East continues to draw strong opposition globally and locally.
Enviro-Leap consultant’s draft scoping report compiled on behalf of Tradeport Namibia, an import and export company, details their plans to become involved in the internationally contentious trade of livestock shipping by sea.
The company proposes to transport thousands of sheep from South Africa by truck into Namibia, and shipping between 10 000 to 70 000 animals per voyage from the port of Lüderitz to the Middle East every two to three months.
They briefly put their plans on hold last year in the wake of strong local opposition.
The recently issued scoping report highlights last year’s opposition in which local opponents cited increasing international evidence of the high risks of suffering, injury, disease and deaths of animals on long sea voyages.
The draft scoping report downplays a petition launched last year by a local animal welfare organisation, Namibia Animal Welfare Association (NAWA) that has attracted more than 31 000 signatures to date.
The report states that the signatures do not reflect serious local resistance.
The report notes that the majority of signatories hail from the “western world” and “provides a glance on their perception on how they would impose their interest and influence on development in Africa”.

Still no
However, local opposition remains firm. Several organisations confirmed this week they are in the process of compiling stakeholder responses to be submitted later this week.
“I still strongly oppose the plan, and do not think that Namibia should condone what is inherently a cruel practice,” a Namibian scientist said this week.
She stressed that while the scoping report “paints a picture” that there are sufficient mitigating measures that can be put in place on ships to lessen animal suffering on the long journey, this is just an attempt to “gloss over” the multitude of risks the animals face onboard and on arrival.
Internationally and locally however, supporters of a wholesale ban of live animal shipping have stressed there are no available tools to lessen suffering onboard.
“Globally, the tide is turning against live animal export because it does not accord with acceptable animal welfare standards, and it involves risks that simply cannot be mitigated,” the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Namibia said.
The Enviro-Leap scoping report notes that while they aim to address welfare issues that could arise from the long distance travel via land and sea, Namibia is not legally liable for anything that happens outside its jurisdiction.
“Tradeport will only assume responsibility for shipments until the vessel leaves Lüderitz, [and] basically pushes away any accountability for the sea voyage,” the scientist, who declined to be named, pointed out.

Bad press
Fortune magazine in July this year reported on the deaths of thousands of cattle and sheep on sea journeys in the span of a year due to conditions onboard. Moreover, crew have died and ocean pollution stemming from animal waste and carcasses being thrown overboard is common.
Trade unions have also criticised the conditions for workers onboard, following a whistleblowers release of secretly filmed footage onboard an animal freight ship.
The United Kingdom and New Zealand are preparing to phase out live export of animals for slaughter altogether.
A farmer and European parliamentarian told Fortune that animal welfare at sea “is a big black hole. Ship transports completely fall outside of any regulations or animal-welfare standards.”
Australian veterinarian Lynn Simpson described the trade as “a nasty, cruel, draconian trade, reliant on cruelty and suffering to be profitable, that no civilised country should want to be part of in 2020 onwards”.
She was an onboard vet for 57 live animal voyages.
Speaking to Namibia Media Holdings last year, she said no onboard protocols can address the “widespread and predictable animal suffering and deaths due to the inherently cruel nature of this trade”.
Namibia Chamber of Environment CEO Chris Brown warned that the trade has been engulfed in bad press for consistently breaching basic international animal welfare standards.
He cautioned that Namibia should be mindful of becoming involved in a trade that has seen restrictions and bans “due to cruelty issues”.

Benefits
Tradeport’s scoping report states “the proposed project is considered to have, despite the animal welfare concerns raised - which can also be mitigated - overall low negative environmental impact and overall higher positive socio-economic impact.”
The authors argue that banning a trade because of animal welfare concerns raises the question “where one draws the line as to whose rights must be upheld above the other”.
The report claims the scheme will benefit Namibia on several fronts, including taxes, skill transfers, investment opportunities and jobs.

Similar News

 

Agnes Tjiramba making her mark

1 week ago - 20 October 2021 | Agriculture

Agribank’s Livestock and Post-Settlement loans beneficiary, Agnes ‘Supii’ Tjiramba, is a determined full-time resettled female farmer, who aspires to leave a mark in a male-dominated...

Soaring high with crop-spraying drones

3 weeks ago - 05 October 2021 | Agriculture

Unitrans Africa’s 50-year involvement in cutting-edge agricultural innovations across the continent is set to soar to new heights after the company’s recent acquisition of a...

Tradeport’s consultants urged to step down

3 weeks ago - 04 October 2021 | Agriculture

Windhoek • [email protected] Namibian SPCA has called for the recusal of EnviroLeap, the consultancy working to secure environmental approval for Tradeport Namibia’s plans to import...

Dryland crop production preparations

3 weeks ago - 01 October 2021 | Agriculture

Windhoek • Hanks SaisaiAs we slowly approach the start of our rainy season, farmers all over the country are hoping to receive much-anticipated showers.Rainfall provides...

FMD could scupper live sheep export plan

3 weeks ago - 01 October 2021 | Agriculture

Windhoek • [email protected] controversial business proposal to import thousands of sheep into Namibia for export via sea to the Middle East faces a potential roadblock...

Voed ’n nasie

1 month - 21 September 2021 | Agriculture

Windhoek • [email protected] Haikali het ’n passie vir landbou en die bemagtiging van jongmense in die landbousektor.Die jong boer het sy loopbaan in die landbou...

Agri advisory training a hit

1 month - 13 September 2021 | Agriculture

Farmers in the Omaheke and Otjozondjupa regions responded positively to Agribank’s practical training and lecture sessions.As farmers prepare for the upcoming rainy season, Agribank conducted...

Agri assistance for the fairer sex

1 month - 09 September 2021 | Agriculture

In its quest to assist women and youth in agriculture, Agribank disbursed loans to the value of N$43 million to women, while another N$38.7 million...

Agricultural face-to-face training resumes

1 month - 01 September 2021 | Agriculture

Agribank’s Agri-Advisory Services Division (AASD) resumed with face-to-face training and lectures, following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings, with strict adherence and observation of...

Why keep records of crop production

1 month - 31 August 2021 | Agriculture

Windhoek • Hanks SaisaiRecords are a vital component of any farming enterprise and naturally this includes crop production enterprises. Records are usually kept for four...

Latest News

More Pfizer BioNTech arrives

3 hours ago | Health

The United States government donated 124 000 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to Namibia. The vaccines arrived last Friday, following the first consignment...

Smart strategies for sellers

3 hours ago | Life Style

Putting a home on the market can be stressful, and it can be difficult to make objective decisions when it matters most.Adrian Goslett, Regional Director...

Influencer programme generates great interest

3 hours ago | Tourism

Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) collaborated with ten social media influencers on its first-ever social media influencer programme, to create awareness of its resorts to a...

Township women learn to sew

6 hours ago | Social Issues

Twenty-eight Windhoek women recently successfully completed a three-month sewing course at the City of Windhoek (CoW).The course was conducted at the UN Plaza Community Hall...

Shoes heading to Omaheke

7 hours ago | Social Issues

Project Never Walk Alone (PNWA), led by Tim Ekandjo, announced the distribution of the second batch of 1300 pairs of shoes to the needy in...

Creating solutions

1 day - 26 October 2021 | Environment

Namibia is known for its pristine environment and landscapes that attract substantial tourists; therefore, the lack of solid waste management if unattended may lead to...

MICT's say on SIM card...

1 day - 26 October 2021 | Technology

Following government’s policy directive that all SIM cards in Namibia must be registered, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) said that after consultations...

Masks, gowns for Health

1 day - 26 October 2021 | Health

When the third Covid wave hit Namibia, the request for assistance was also heard by Support Ulm e.V. in Germany, and Prof. Dr. Heinz Maier,...

Green, inclusive development to rebuild...

1 day - 26 October 2021 | International

Development cooperation is an important cornerstone of the German-Namibian partnership, as was highlighted by the visit of the German delegation of the Federal Ministry for...

Load More