A ship transporting 19,000 cattle has raised concerns over the condition of the animals onboard, along with complaints from residents about the smell emanating from the vessel as it stopped in Cape Town.

The Al Kuwait, a 190-meter livestock carrier, docked in the South African city after sailing for more than two weeks from Brazil, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. The vessel, which is carrying its cargo to Iraq, was boarded by a team including a veterinary consultant with the cooperation of its captain on Sunday, animal protection group the National Council of SPCAs said in a statement. 

“The stench on board is unimaginable, yet the animals face this every single day,” the group said, noting a build-up of feces and ammonia that’s led to complaints from people living in suburbs near the port.

Animal rights activists oppose the import and export of live animals due to conditions on board and the long voyages often involved. The UK in December introduced a bill designed to end the export of live cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and horses, citing the stress, exhaustion and injury caused to the animals.   

The City of Cape Town condemned “the horrific conditions which have been uncovered aboard the Al Kuwait ship,” it said in a statement.