Cattle on stranded ship should be killed, Spanish vet report says

Cattle on stranded ship should be killed, Spanish vet report says
The ship had struggled to find buyers for the cattle after it was rejected from Turkey. Illustration photo: Miguel Riopa/AFP
More than 850 cows that were stranded aboard a ship in the Mediterranean for months are not fit for transport, a confidential report by Spanish government veterinarians said, according to Reuters.

The ship carrying the cattle, called Karim Allah, had struggled to find a buyer for the cattle for the past two months. It finally docked in the southeastern Spanish port of Cartagena on Thursday.

Several countries rejected the animals for fear they had bovine bluetongue virus, which causes lameness and haemorrhaging among cattle, but does not affect humans.

The veterinarians’ report, seen by Reuters, said the animals had suffered from the journey, and were unwell and not fit for transport outside the EU. 

It did not say if the cattle had bluetongue disease, but recommended euthanasia as the best solution for their health and welfare.

The cattle likely have severe health problems after their “hellish” crossing, animal rights activist Silvia Barquero, director of the Igualdad Animal NGO, told Reuters.

The NGO is calling for Spain to end the transport of animals outside the EU.

 

The Agriculture Ministry told Reuters it will make appropriate decisions after analysing information from the inspection.

The ship left Cartagena to deliver the cattle to Turkey, but authorities there blocked the shipment fearing bluetongue infection.

This led to several other countries refusing entry even to replenish animal feed, forcing the cows to go several days with just water.

The Agriculture Ministry’s experts said 864 animals were alive on board. Twenty-two cows died at sea, with two corpses still aboard. The remains of others were chopped up and thrown overboard during the journey, the report said.

Ownership of the cattle is unclear.


Member comments

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.