South African City Overrun With Horrible Sewage-Like Stench. Officials Say They Found The Culprit

Image not from story (Photo by FRANCOIS NASCIMBENI/AFP via Getty Images)

John Oyewale Contributor
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A docked ship laden with 19,000 cattle was responsible for a persistent sewage-like stench that blanketed Cape Town, South Africa, and had authorities scrambling to figure out the cause, according to reports.

Authorities investigated various sewage pump stations before inspecting the Cape Town Harbor, where it was confirmed Monday that the cattle-laden ship, which arrived Sunday night, caused the stench, according to tweets from Dr. Zahid Badroodien, the city’s councillor in charge of water and sanitation. The ship was due to depart the coast Monday night, Dr. Badroodien added, according to the tweets.

The ship’s conditions drew criticism from local animal rights groups. Identified as the “Al Kuwait” but also dubbed the “death ship”, the Iraq-bound ship from Brazil had docked in Cape Town to load feed, the National Council of Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) said in a statement Monday.

The NSPCA sent in a veterinary consultant to assess the welfare of the cattle on board, the statement added.

“The [NSPCA] reiterates its firm stance against the live export of animals by sea,” the statement began.

“This smell is indicative of the awful conditions the animals endure, having already spent 2½ weeks on board, with a build-up of faeces and ammonia. The stench onboard is unimaginable, yet the animals face this every single day,” the NSPCA added. (RELATED: 20 Cows Dead After Cattle Trailer Flips Over On Interstate)

The NSPCA confirmed the departure of the ship from Cape Town in a separate statement Tuesday. The NSPCA had found diseased and dead cows on board, and the cattle still alive had “no option but to rest in dams of their own excrement,” the statement noted. The NSPCA euthanized eight cows and treated others, according to the statement.

Adding that “the live export of animals by sea is a gruesome and outdated practice”, the NSPCA thanked the South African government for permitting the ship to dock for animal feed and the public for their “unwavering support”.

Earlier in February, a Middle East-bound shipload of about 16,500 sheep and cattle owned by an Israel-based export company sailed from Australia but had to return due to ongoing Houthi rebel attacks in the Red Sea. Concerns rose for the livestock and the Australian government provided updates confirming there was no threat to Australia‘s biosecurity and that the animals were in good condition. Four cattle and 64 sheep eventually died aboard the ship, while seven cattle and six sheep died on land, and all the livestock were discharged from the ship, Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said.