Update on animal welfare crisis at sea


Update on animal welfare crisis at sea

23 February 2021
Bovines stuck at sea for 2 months have now reached Spain and Cyprus but they’re still onboard.

As recently reported, nearly 2,000 bovines who left Spain two months ago were refused at arrival in Libya due to bluetongue disease. Their fate remained unclear as the vessels were spotted at different ports in the Mediterian.   

Thanks to the work of our member organisation Animal Welfare Foundation, which is constantly monitoring the situation, we have an update on the Karim Allah vessel which is at anchor in the bay of Cartagena, Spain. 

Its docking has not been authorised as yet, so the official veterinary services have not been able to access it. Therefore we don’t know how many animals are still alive or anything of the conditions of those that may still be alive

We call on the Spanish authorities to speed up the process and grant immediate access to the veterinary services. The animals conditions need to be checked as soon as possible, and urgent measures to preserve their welfare, including their health, need to be put in place. Also, we urge the Spanish government to provide full transparency towards civil society and share the findings on what will be found on board

Commented Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals. 

The other vessel, Elbeik, is anchored at port Famagusta and we hope the relevant authorities can enter the vessel soon. 

Concerned about the welfare and health status of the animals, we reached out to the European Commission with a formal letter and we have been informed that the Cypriot Minister in charge of animal welfare has reassured that as soon as the vessel enters a port of the Republic of Cyprus, the veterinary services will inspect it. 

These bovines have been on board for the past 2 months and their welfare is at stake. We cannot continue to wait without concrete actions. The vessel's representatives need to fully cooperate and immediately dock, or should otherwise be escorted to port as necessary

Added Hameleers.