06. July 2020

Spain | Live transports by sea | Day 1: Port of Cartagena

Our teams observe how the livestock vessel ETAB docks at the port of Cartagena.

The livestock carrier SARAH M is meant to be loaded with live animals too.

Our team is on an investigation together with our partner organisations Welfarm and Animals International in the Spanish port of Cartagena. In 2018, an audit carried out by the EU Commission discovered various animal welfare violations during the loading of animals from trucks onto ships in various EU export ports. Cartagena belongs to these ports. During our investigation we want to find out whether there have been any improvements in the handling of animals since the audit. We observe the loading processes in Cartagena for four days in total.

The EU port is secured by high fences, walls and video cameras. There are no ways to enter the port without the permission of the port administration. Not even animal welfare organisations are granted access. Therefore, our team must investigate from a distance. Despite temperatures of over 33 degrees Celsius, we observe two Spanish animal transporters standing in the blazing sun near the harbour scales. Both transporters are loaded with sheep over three levels. The trucks have no ventilation or drinking system.

Furthermore, we observe how the live transport ships ETAB and SARAH M dock in the port. We document all these observations and will return on the next day to continue with our research.