Following on from our earlier post today regarding the cattle stranded at sea on the ‘Elbeik’:
Togo: Live Animal Transport: Elbeik Still At Sea with 1700 Animals and Over 100 Feared Dead – Expected to Dock In Cartagena, Spain Tonight. ‘Karim Allah’ Killing Team Still In Cartegena. What Happens Later ? – World Animals Voice
We now have the following from UK Press ‘The Guardian’ (London), as follows.
Does this situation not sum up the scum involved in this business, that
“a source said the owner plans to sell the animals “to north Africa”.
All this time at sea, and the suffering involved with it, the numbers of animals now dead, and all this thickhead can think about is still trying to make money from the remaining animals, and sending them on yet further (by sea ) to another destination in North Africa; which we can only view as being ‘Libya’.
Stranded cattle ship ordered to dock in Spain after ‘hellish’ three months at sea
Almost 180 bulls believed to be already dead as campaigners call for surviving animals to be humanely slaughtered on arrival in port
After three months stranded in the Mediterranean, a livestock ship carrying almost 1,800 young bulls has been ordered to dock at the Spanish port of Cartagena.
The Elbeik is expected to arrive in Cartagena this evening, having left the Spanish port of Tarragona in mid-December.
It has been struggling to find a buyer for the cattle after being refused entry by multiple countries, including Turkey and Libya, over fears the animals had a disease called bluetongue.
Sources have told the Guardian almost 180 cattle are now dead, more than double a previous estimate. An MEP has suggested that the “hellish” stress of three months at sea means slaughter on arrival at port is now the most humane option.
Following recent stops near Cyprus and in Greek ports to reprovision, the Elbeik returned to Spanish waters earlier this week, anchoring off the island of Menorca.
Spanish authorities on Tuesday ordered the ship to dock in Cartagena, describing it as the “most suitable port” for the inspection and possible unloading and slaughter of the animals. A source within the ministry of agriculture said the vessel would be inspected by vets once docked.
The return order comes just weeks after Spanish authorities slaughtered more than 850 young bulls in Cartagena from another livestock ship, the Karim Allah. The ship had also left Spain in mid-December and been refused entry to ports in Turkey and elsewhere because of bluetongue fears.
On Wednesday a source close to the Elbeik said the owner of its cattle hoped to arrange blood tests for the animals when the ship arrives in Cartagena. If the results showed them to be free of bluetongue and other diseases, the source said the owner plans to sell the animals “to north Africa”.
The Guardian has been sent a document, apparently signed by the Elbeik’s captain, saying 179 bulls had died at sea, up from a previous estimate of 80 deaths. Another 1,610 animals appeared “normal and healthy”, which it credited to the crew’s good care , but said “lately they have been frustrated due to staying on board” for so long.
The Karim Allah had likewise arranged blood draws and aimed to sell the bulls if they were disease-free, but Spain’s agriculture ministry ordered the bulls to be put down before the blood samples were analysed.
Some MEPs and NGOs have argued that euthanising the bulls in Spain, rather than sending them on another long journey to face possibly less humane slaughter, was a kinder option.
“For more than three months these animals [on the Elbeik] have been on this hellish ride,” said MEP Thomas Waitz, a member of an EU committee examining animal transport issues and European Green party co-chair.
Waitz said the “constant stress” of being at sea, on top of food and water shortages, meant the young bulls were probably in “a dire state” and euthanasia now appeared “the only responsible thing to do”.
Campaigners blame the EU for continuing to allow lengthy export journeys for farm animals and failing to manage problems.
Unexpected problems, said Olga Kikou of Compassion in World Farming, were exacerbated by a failure to make contingency plans for animals facing hold-ups and a lack of clarity over who was responsible for their welfare.
Sign up for the Animals farmed monthly update to get a roundup of the best farming and food stories across the world and keep up with our investigations. You can send us your stories and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org
A comment left by Elvera, one of our supporters:
Three months at sea and then likely euthanized. Spain, EU should be ashamed of their indifference to the suffering they have inflicted on these poor creatures. How many more such tragedies have to occur before live transport is banned. Anyone involved in this trade is sick and lacking any moral compass .
We fully agree !