PICS: Dogs removed from 'parasitic' Chinese trawler in Cape Town

2016-05-19 18:59
(Supplied, Cape of Good Hope SPCA)

(Supplied, Cape of Good Hope SPCA)

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Cape Town – Four dogs have been removed from a Chinese trawler that is being held at Cape Town harbour for alleged illegal fishing.

The Lu Huang Yuan Yu 186 vessel, escorted by the fisheries department at the weekend, was part of a foreign fleet of nine initially picked up around Port Edward.

Animal welfare officials inspected the docked boat and were concerned about the parasitic conditions in which the dogs were being kept, Cape of Good Hope SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abraham told News24.

They then issued a warning in terms of the Animals Protection Act.

"While we felt that this would ensure the welfare of the animals whilst in South African waters, we were well aware of the fact that the matter would no longer be within our control once the vessel departed," she said.

They appealed to the state veterinarian and were able to have the dogs impounded and removed.

"The dogs are in state quarantine at the moment. They are still doing a couple of tests on them before we can step in," Abraham said.

The dogs would be handed over to the SPCA once the investigation was finalised.

After the SPCA placed photos of the incident on Facebook, users asked why the dogs were on board.

Some claimed they were used as fish bait or as food for sailors on board.

Abraham said she would not speculate on their purpose.

Facing a number of charges

According to Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana at the weekend, inspectors established the fleet was purchased by an Angolan fishing company and was sailing from China to the Congo to be delivered.

The vessels did not indicate their right of innocent passage through South Africa’s economic exclusive zone, nor did they apply for a permit to enter the local waters.

They initially co-operated with authorities in heading to the nearest port, but later headed off in different conditions, and switched off their automated identification systems and navigational lights.

The one trawler that was successfully escorted to Cape Town faced a number of charges, Zokwana’s spokesperson Bomikazi Molapo said on Thursday.

"One of the charges is being in our waters without the required permit from us."

The others were failing to follow instructions from department officers and violating regulations by switching off satellite navigation and lights.

The case was handed over to the National Prosecuting Authority.

"We are monitoring everything that happens in our waters at the moment," Molapo assured.

(Supplied, Cape of Good Hope SPCA)

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