13. February 2021

EU live exports by sea: Cattle with bluetongue disease held aboard for almost two months

Our teams document the loading of European animals onto the livestock vessel Elbeik. Port of Tarragona, Spain.

Elbeik in Summer 2020, Port of Cartagena (Spain).

Yesterday evening we received the news that sick cattle from the EU have been detained aboard the livestock carrier "Elbeik" for almost two months. There is a suspicion of a bluetongue disease outbreak. For this reason, animals were not allowed to be unloaded in the destination country Libya. Since then, the ship has stopped in several countries and unloaded some of the 1,800 cattle originally loaded. However, there are still animals on board. Captain and crew are desperate. They no longer have enough food and water for the remaining animals. Our teams informed the relevant EU and port authorities last night. Our teams have been working non stop to free the cattle.

Conditions on the Elbeik are no exception. Animals from the EU suspected of having the bluetongue virus were also detained on the ship Karim Allah in December 2020. Both cases clearly show that the legally required contingency plans do not work for live exports by sea. The suffering animals have to bear the costs. This is why we call on the EU Commission to ban cruel live transports immediately.