Cattle Stranded On Ship Docked In Spain To Be Destroyed
Nearly 900 cows are set to be euthanized by Spanish authorities after drifting for more than two months on the Mediterranean Sea while the owners searched for a buyer. After viewing a confidential report by Spanish government veterinarians, Reuters reports the cattle remain on board the Karim Allah docked in Cartagena, Spain.
The cattle were rejected by several countries over fears they may have bovine bluetongue virus. The 895 cattle left Cartagena in mid-December originally bound for Turkey, but the ship was denied entry as Turkish authorities feared the virus. Veterinarians said the cattle were unfit for transport to another country or to be returned to Spain.
Activists told Reuters more than 100 cows died on the ship before it returned to Spain and the rest were "suffering truly hellish conditions" while at sea.
Turkey did not test the animals for the virus, but their refusal to allow them entry came after a recent outbreak of bluetongue in the Spanish province of Huesca. Various other countries also refused the ship entry, even to replenish animal feed, and the cows were forced to go several days without water, Reuters reported.
The report seen by Reuters concluded that the animals had suffered from the lengthy journey, that some of them were unwell and that they were not fit for transport outside of the European Union nor should they be allowed in the European Union.