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A ship carrying 19,000 cattle caused a big stink in the South African city of Cape Town

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — What’s the smell?

Cape Town authorities launched an investigation on Monday after a foul odor was detected in the South African city.

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City officials inspected the sewage plant for leaks and an environmental health team was activated before the source of the odor was determined. The ship was in port, carrying 19,000 live cattle from Brazil to Iraq.

Zahid Badrudian, an official in charge of water and sanitation in the mayor’s office, wrote on the social media site wrote that it was confirmed.

He wrote that the ship was scheduled to depart soon to reassure residents who were anxious about the start of the work week.

The ship has also been the subject of severe criticism from animal rights groups.

The National Council for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it had sent a veterinary consultant on board to assess the welfare of the animals. The SPCA’s board said it strongly opposes the export of live animals by sea.

City officials inspected the sewage plant for leaks on Monday, February 19, 2024, and an environmental health team was activated before the source of the odor was determined. The ship docked in the port was carrying 19,000 live cattle from Brazil to Iraq.

“The smell indicates that the animals have already been on board for two and a half weeks and are in dire condition due to the build-up of feces and ammonia,” the SPCA said in a statement. “The stench inside the ship is unimaginable, but the animals face it every day.”

The 190-meter (623-foot) Al Kuwait is a Kuwaiti-flagged livestock vessel, according to the Marine Traffic website. The SPCA said she entered Cape Town to load feed for cattle.

South Africa’s Democratic Alliance party, which governs Cape Town, also condemned the transport of live cattle.

“As this situation shows, live export exposes animals to hazardous conditions that can lead to dangerous levels of ammonia, rough seas, extreme heat stress, injury, dirty conditions, exhaustion and even death,” the party said in a statement. “I’m exposing it,” he said.

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Earlier this month, a ship carrying more than 16,000 cattle and sheep, also bound for the Middle East, returned to Australia after being stranded for nearly a month due to Houthi rebel attacks in the Red Sea. The ship also came under scrutiny for cruelty, but veterinarians found no significant problems with the health and welfare of the livestock.

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