3 years ago

Spanish calves stuck at sea for three months, no EU country is helping

EU Debates | eudebates.tv
Around 1800 Spanish male calves have been stuck on the ship Elbeik for almost three months. The animals have not been allowed to leave the ship and haven’t received any veterinary care. http://eudebates.tv/ Eighty calves have died on the ship, Maria Boada-Saña, veterinarian at the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF), tells The Animal Reader. “They’re on board for almost three months, the conditions are not ok,” she says.

#eudebates #Spain #Animals #Cows

The Elbeik left Spain at the beginning of December heading for Libya, but because Libya thought the Spanish cows had bluetongue disease, the ship was not allowed to ‘unload’ the animals.

Since then, the Elbeik has been at sea. They’ve tried entering Turkey, Cyprus and Greece, but were denied access. The 1770 young cows and crew members are running out of food, and the ship is not designed to carry animals for such a long time.

Last Friday, Greek authorities asked the Elbeik to leave their waters without loading food for the animals and crew members, Boada-Saña says.

After pressure from animal welfare organizations, Greece allowed the ship to load food but didn’t allow veterinarians to check on the animals, she continues.

Male calves from Karim Allah are all dead
Another ship that also left Spain in December and couldn’t ‘unload’ their cows at their destination, the Karim Allah, decided to return to the port of Cartagena at the end of February.

The Spanish authorities said that the 850 young male calves look so bad they couldn’t be transported anymore and had to be euthanized immediately.

Last Saturday, they started killing the young cows, and by Tuesday, all the animals had been euthanized, Boada-Saña says. She explains that the costs for euthanizing the animals, more than one million euros, are for Karim Allah’s owner Talia Shipping Line.

Elbeik changed direction
The Elbeik was on their way to the port of Cartagena, but after hearing that the animals from the Karim Allah were all killed, they changed their direction.

“The problem is the Elbeik does not want to go back to Spain cause they know that if they go back to Spain, all the animals will be euthanized,” Boada-Saña says.

“What they’re really trying now is to test these animals to make public that they don’t have bluetongue disease, so the fault lies with the Spanish authorities. So that they don’t have to pay for euthanizing the animals,” she explains.

It’s not clear what will happen to the animals now. Most likely, all the European ports will do the same as Greece; they will not allow the vessel to enter to pressure the Elbeik to go back to Spain.

The Elbeik is trying to get the Spanish authorities to cover the costs to euthanize the animals, but the Spanish authorities are not supporting them, Boada-Saña says.

No happy ending for the baby cows
It will be very interesting to see what the Elbeik will do now, Boada-Saña says, and if other European members will allow the ship to enter or not.