Saturday, March 6th, 2021
After months in the cattle ship
Spain slaughters 900 cattle on the pier
A freighter with 900 cattle on board starts in Spain in December. But in Turkey the animals are not allowed to go ashore because they are suspected of being sick. This is followed by an odyssey through the Mediterranean, which ends fatally for all animals. Around 1,800 other young animals are in a similar situation.
More than 900 cattle, which have been cooped up on a freighter on the Mediterranean for around two and a half months, are being slaughtered in Spain. Originally, the animals were supposed to be exported from Spain to Turkey in December, where they were not allowed to be unloaded because of the suspected bluetongue disease. After much back and forth, the freighter “Karim Allah” has now returned to the port of Cartagena in southern Spain. There, the animals began to be unloaded, as reported by the state TV broadcaster RTVE.
Spanish media reports that the cattle are to be killed in a tent by the pier and the carcasses are to be disposed of. It is said that 22 cattle have already died at sea. Selling the animals in Spain is not possible because the importation of live cattle from outside the EU is prohibited. Another transport to a third country is no longer reasonable for the animals, the sanitary authorities announced after an inspection in Cartagena, reports the newspaper “El País”.
A court in Madrid then approved the emergency slaughter on Friday. The owner wanted to prevent this and tried to find a buyer in another country.
Turkey, Libya, Tunisia, Italy, …
The freighter with the cattle left Cartagena on December 18th. In the Turkish Mediterranean port of Iskenderun, however, the cattle were rejected by the Turkish authorities because they were suspected of being sick. Bluetongue is an insect-borne viral disease that affects sheep in particular, but also cattle and goats.
The cattle ship then reportedly called on Libya in the hope of being able to sell the animals there. But the local authorities also forbade that. In search of food for the animals, the “Karim Allah” drove towards Tunisia, where the ship was turned away. It was only in the port of Augusta in Sicily that food could be brought on board for the animals that had only received water for three days, according to “El País”. Then the freighter sailing under the Lebanese flag returned to Cartagena.
According to RTVE, there are currently around 1,800 other young animals from Spain in a similar situation on the cattle freighter “Elbeik” flying the Togo flag, which was also turned away in Turkey and Libya on suspicion of bluetongue. According to information from trackding services for ships north of Crete, the ship was on a southerly course on Saturday.