Nearly 900 young bulls who have been on a boat in the Mediterranean for two months must be killed. This is what the Spanish government decided today. Several countries have refused to admit the animals for fear of the dreaded bluetongue disease.
The Lebanese ship Karim Allah is anchored in the city of Cartagena, in southern Spain. From there he left on December 18 with 895 young bulls for Turkey. However, Turkish authorities have banned the unloading of the animals for fear of becoming infected with bluetongue.
The animal disease has been observed in several places in Europe last year. Bluetongue is transmitted by insects and causes paralysis and bleeding in cows.
After Turkey, attempts were unsuccessful to sell the animals to other countries. Het Schip has been sailing for more than two months in the hope of finding a client. The return to Spain also did not work, as the Spanish authorities do not give permission either.
Exhausted from the trip
The Spanish Cattle Inspectorate, which falls under the Ministry of Agriculture, checked the bulls in the port of Cartagena this week. None of the animals had bluetongue. This writes the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia. However, the cattle were in such poor condition due to the long transport on the boat that they can no longer be transported and euthanasia is the most humane solution. The harsh conditions of the bulls have prompted numerous protests from Spanish animal rights activists.
The international organization Igualdad Animal (Animal Equality) today protested in the port of Cartagena against the fate of livestock transported at sea. They are calling for a ban on transport to countries outside the European Union.
“We hope that the Karim Allah scandal will show people the kind of hell these animals have to go through on these long journeys,” director Silvia Barquero said in a manifesto. Of all European countries, Spain transports the most cows by boat.
It is possible that 1,776 cows on another vessel in the Mediterranean suffer the same fate. The ship also left the port of Cartagena on December 18 and is not allowed to land the animals anywhere. The ship is currently stationary in Cyprus.
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