24. March 2020

Live exports from the EU to third countries by sea cause animal suffering and pollution of the seas

Dead cattle. Location: Beach on Mallorca. Cause: European live export by sea.

To be clear: The EU-Commission and the member states cannot ignore their duties. They are responsible for the ongoing live exports by sea. However, they are not taking any actions against these transports. Maybe because they think that no one is aware of these transports?

They are wrong. We see them. We follow them. We report them.
There is a regulation called MARPOL (Maritime Pollution). It refers to the contamination of the sea. And everything that gets dumped into the sea during sea transports has the potential for contaminating and polluting the seas.

Animals suffer on the ships. They are starving, dying of thirst and fall ill due to the aggressive acid smell of ammonia. Dead animals go overboard. Their bodies are thrown into the sea. Most animals are cut open beforehand in order to sink to the ground immediately. This should prevent their bodies of being washed up on the beaches. This is what the Mediterranean countries agreed years ago. Nevertheless, animal corpses are always found lying on beaches. Dead witnesses of a cynical live export industry. This is also what happened to this animal in Mallorca (see photo).  

We wrote to EMSA, the European Maritime Safety Agency. EMSA is responsible for monitoring the European seas. In our letter we are not only reporting about dead cattle that are thrown overboard, but also about tons of manure that are dumped into the sea.

Moreover, we report based on our research that very few ports have infrastructures in place to accommodate manure and carcasses. We outline that the ships are not allowed to unload their "waste" either at the destination or at the port of departure. Therefore, only the Mediterranean Sea remains as a dumping ground for the animal export industry. This is a cheap solution for them. The consequential costs are carried by people and the environment.

Whilst all this is happening, the EU-Commission is watching. The member states are benefitting. They are getting rid of a problem: too many animals in European stables.

You can find our letter here:
Letter to EMSA