03. November 2022

How the scandalous livestock carrier ELBEIK became a ghost ship

In March 2021, the livestock carrier ELBEIK made international headlines: with almost 1,800 young bulls on board, the vessel wandered the Mediterranean for almost three months. The animals were detained on the ELBEIK because of suspected bluetongue virus. 179 animals did not survive the cruel transport, the remaining animals were taken to the Spanish port of Cartagena and emergency killed.

Five months later, on August 6, 2021, the ELBEIK caught fire in front of the Spanish port of Tarragona. Luckily no animals on board. We know from confidential sources that the Elbeik was checked by veterinarians in Tarragona on July 21 and that no complaints were found. At the time, our ship expert, Karl Weber, suspected that it must have been a "hot demolition", since the owner of the ELBEIK probably had to bear enormous costs for the three-month odyssey. It is still unclear whether the fire was an accident or purely calculated.

Now our investigative teams have found out that the port authorities in Tarragona officially declared the ELBEIK as "abandoned " in September 2022. The left behind vessel is now to be auctioned off. We will work to ensure that the new owner will not have the ELBEIK repaired and turned into a cruel livestock carrier for the animals again. Our investigative teams will closely monitor the case and continue to work to ensure that cruel live exports by sea will be banned!

Official statement by the Spanish Port Authority