Cattle stranded on ship in Spain must be destroyed, say vets | Animal welfare

Greater than 850 cows which have spent months aboard a ship wandering throughout the Mediterranean are now not match for transport anymore and may be killed, in keeping with a confidential report by Spanish authorities veterinarians.

The cows have been stored in what an animal rights activist referred to as “hellish” circumstances on the Karim Allah, which docked in the south-eastern Spanish port of Cartagena on Thursday after struggling for 2 months to discover a purchaser for the cattle.

The animals had been rejected by a number of international locations over fears they’d bovine bluetongue virus. The insect-borne virus causes lameness and haemorrhaging amongst cattle. Bluetongue doesn’t have an effect on people.

Hundreds of calves stranded at sea due to suspected disease – video
Lots of of calves stranded at sea as a result of suspected illness – video

The vets’ report, which was seen by Reuters, concluded that the animals had suffered from the prolonged journey. A few of them had been unwell and never match for transport outdoors of the European Union, nor ought to they be allowed into the EU. Euthanasia would be the most effective resolution for his or her well being and welfare, it mentioned.

The report didn’t say if the cattle had bluetongue illness.

“It’s not even talked about, which may be very shocking,” mentioned Miquel Masramon, a lawyer representing the ship proprietor Talia Delivery Line. The ship is registered in Lebanon, in keeping with VesselFinder.

“My impression is that they are going to undoubtedly go forward with the slaughter and destruction of the animals and it’ll be troublesome for us to forestall it,” he mentioned.

Masramon mentioned he would push for the return of blood samples taken from the animals and impounded by authorities on Thursday to be launched and examined “to show if there may be any bluetongue”.

The agriculture ministry didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. It mentioned earlier on Friday that it could make acceptable selections after analysing data from the inspection.

The vessel initially left Cartagena to ship the cattle to Turkey. However authorities there blocked the cargo and suspended dwell animal imports from Spain, fearing bluetongue an infection.

That rejection turned the ship into a global pariah. A number of international locations refused it entry even to replenish animal feed, forcing the cows to go a number of days with simply water.

The cows seemingly have extreme well being issues after their “hellish” crossing, mentioned animal rights activist Silvia Barquero, director of the Igualdad Animal NGO.

“What has occurred to the waste produced by all these animals for 2 months? We’re positive they’re in unacceptable sanitary circumstances,” Barquero advised Reuters.

The ministry’s consultants counted 864 animals alive on board. Twenty-two cows died at sea, with two corpses nonetheless aboard. The stays of the others that died had been chopped up and thrown overboard through the journey, the report mentioned.

Possession of the cattle was unclear. The exporter, World Commerce, mentioned it was not accountable as a result of it offered the animals, Masramon mentioned. Reuters has been unable to achieve World Commerce for remark.


A second ship, the ElBeik, additionally set sail from Spain in December with a cargo of practically 1,800 cows. It’s presently moored off the Turkish Cypriot port of Famagusta.

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