Brazilian Operator Suspends Live Export
A port operator in Santos, Brazil, said on Friday it will suspend live export shipments. State-run Companhia Docas do Estado de São Paulo wrote a letter to a congressman about the decision.
Santos resumed the shipment of live animals in December 2017, when 27,000 head of cattle were sent overseas through the port. The letter reportedly says that the company supports environmental and socially responsible practices and does not condone any “disrespect of animal life.”
A spokesperson for farm animal welfare at Fórum Animal in Brazil has confirmed the suspension. “This piece of news generates optimism but is a very fragile statement. The suspension, since it is only an administrative decision, and not a prohibition, can be withdrawn at any time. In addition, there are other ports in Brazil that still export tens of thousands of animals per vessel.
“We have been acting against live animal transport since 2016 in partnership with Animals International. We have had meetings with representatives of OIE and the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, and we have been involved in political events and public consultations lobbying against live animals transport overseas, especially in the major exporting states (Pará, São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul).
“At the end of last year, we filed a public civil action to interrupt the departure of a ship at the port of São Sebastião, near Santos, in order to obtain images and inspect the conditions of the animals and the ship, according to minimum standards of animal welfare internationally recognized. Despite federal court decision, the dock company did not allow our entrance to the ship. So we are currently in legal process in partnership with volunteer lawyers, claiming that live export is cruel, unnecessary and therefore unacceptable, and we plead national ban.”
In November last year, animal welfare organization Animals International exposed the brutal treatment of animals exported live from Brazil once they reach slaughterhouses in Egypt and Lebanon.