How Spain became a big player in trading live animals internationally
From the outside, the Spanish port of Cartagena may look like any other port. Trucks, containers and ships rushing back and forth. But behind the facade hides a cruel business. Besides Tarragona, Cartagena is the only port in Spain involved in the export of live animals.
Spain is the largest exporter of live cattle in Europe and the second largest exporter of sheep in the EU behind Romania. In 2022 alone, Spain exported nearly 800,000 live animals, and of those, over 600,000 came from Cartagena, port reports show.
Our teams are regularly on site to monitor animal welfare during sea exports, examining the loading conditions and the enforcement of the EU animal transport regulation. Journalist Laura Villadiego accompanied our teams to Cartagena.