Upon inspection, there were still 1,610 cows on the vessel. 179 cattle died during the trip and were thrown overboard. The inspection report shows that many animals suffered from malnutrition, dehydration and sometimes poop down to the hoofs. The report (pdf) has been disclosed to a Spanish animal rights organization.
How did it come to this?
Back to December 18 of last year. The ElBeik then left Spain for Turkey with 1789 cattle on board. A journey of about nine days. When they arrived in the Turkish port, it turned out that the animals were not allowed to disembark, as they could be carriers of a virus.
Then he left for Libya, then Egypt, but animals were not welcome in those countries either. After three months of wandering, the ship returned to the port of Spain last week. There it was decided that the animals would be killed.
The vets’ report shows that the animals are so emaciated that they no longer open their eyes and no longer respond to stimuli. A quarter of all animals appear to have skin injuries. Others have ulcers, broken horns, or broken tails.
The last cleanup of the ship took place between March 10 and 12. Manure has accumulated as a result. Sometimes the ground is completely covered with poop, so the animals cannot lie down. It is also stated that there is too little space for the cows.
Medics were shocked at what they saw on deck five. There, a space had been set up for sick animals. In the corral were seven dead oxen and a dying cow. In between, there were also nine live animals that stomped on each other because they didn’t have enough room to stand.
The export of live cattle by sea has long been criticized. The waves throw animals back and forth and the conditions on board are often appalling.
Also dutch cows on boats
The Ministry of Agriculture authorizes the transport of live cattle by sea. For example, Dutch cows go to Lebanon and Egypt. They first go to Slovenia by truck. Then they board the boat for an uninterrupted day trip. NVWA agrees to this.
The ships used are often old. They were first used to transport cars or goods. Once they are no longer suitable for this, they are converted for transporting livestock. This has often been done on an interim basis.
Ventilation is not correct
The ElBeik report also deals with the condition of the vessel. The iron gates, between which the animals stand, have sharp points. It is hot on some terraces and the ventilation is also broken.
If something is wrong, the animals cannot disembark quickly. The ElBeik is no exception. The ship Karim Allah, which left on the same day as the ElBeik, suffered the same fate. Currently, the cargo ship Ever Given is blocking the Suez Canal. This means that at least eight ships waiting with livestock living on board have nowhere to go.