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‘Ship of death’ no association whatsoever with Kuwait

Informed sources have categorically dismissed any association between Kuwait and the vessel laden with livestock, famously dubbed the “ship of death,” which recently anchored in Cape Town, South Africa, and became a source of controversy.

The ship, ferrying a consignment of livestock from Brazil en route to Basra, Iraq, made a routine stop in Cape Town, which the sources clarified was not prompted by an emergency. Such stopovers are customary for livestock carriers traversing from the Americas to the Middle East or nearby regions, often pausing in ports like those in Spain or Portugal, reports Al-Qabas daily.

The governments of these developed countries oversee such matters themselves, preempting any interference from animal welfare groups due to their perceived bias and lack of credibility in presenting factual information. Given its trajectory from the southern hemisphere, the ship opted for Cape Town as its stopover point.

Emphasizing further, the sources outlined that the vessel, accommodating 19,000 heads of livestock, had been subjected to exaggerated claims by animal welfare organizations aiming to sway public opinion against livestock exports under any circumstances.

While the ship bears the Kuwaiti flag, it is actually under lease to an Iraqi investor for transporting cargo to Iraq, absolving the State of Kuwait of any involvement. Moreover, the sources affirmed that the Kuwait-owned ship ranks among the world’s finest and most contemporary livestock carriers.

Contrary to sensationalized reports, meticulous scrutiny of the shipment revealed that the alleged malodor and mortality rates were greatly exaggerated. Mortality rates aboard the vessel were notably lower than standard rates on livestock farms, with the livestock in excellent health. Claims of heightened ammonia levels were debunked, with a South African Ministry of Agriculture medical team verifying the animals’ well-being.

Responding to assertions by animal welfare groups seeking to halt livestock trade, the sources condemned their efforts as unfounded, highlighting that published images portrayed an insignificant fraction of the total livestock, strategically magnifying isolated incidents to mislead the public.

As for the ship’s captain’s statement regarding disposal of deceased livestock, it was clarified that any deceased animals would be appropriately disposed of in compliance with international regulations, refuting claims of deliberate disposal during the voyage.

Addressing a purported success by the Foundation for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in South Africa in halting a livestock shipment in 2022, the sources characterized it as exaggerated, underscoring the organization’s failure to prevent livestock exports altogether, merely delaying the shipment’s loading.

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