Two livestock ships have been denied entry to multiple countries for over two months.
Thousands of cattle have been at sea for over two months aboard two livestock ships, reports the Guardian. One of the vessels, the Turkish-flagged Karim Allah, has now been permitted to dock in Cartagena, Spain, but the other, the Elbeik, is still at anchor in Turkish waters off the coast of Cyprus.
Both vessels were denied entry to multiple countries because of health concerns over a suspected outbreak of the bovine disease, bluetongue. The two vessels left Spain before Christmas but have still not offloaded their cargo.
Silvia Barquero, the director of Animal Equality Spain, said she understood that many animals were already dead and any still alive would be “suffering a real hell”.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Spain’s agriculture ministry described the ships’ plight as a “failed operation by a Spanish exporter, who was going to sell the animals in Turkey, then tried unsuccessfully to sell them in Libya”. The spokesperson did not respond to questions about animal numbers, conditions on the ships or possible next steps.