Several sailors are stranded outside the shores of Spain, fearing for the lives of hundreds of cattle aboard their ships. The managers of two vessels have accused the Spanish government of ignoring their calls for help. Further, they say that they are unable to dock since the Spanish government threatens to kill the cattle on board.

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One of the vessels that has been affected is the Karim Allah. The ship left Spain in December with bulls headed for several countries. However, due to a suspected outbreak of bluetongue, the vessels were denied entry into several countries, including Libya and Turkey.

Karim Allah is owned by Khalifeh Livestock Trading, based in Lebanon. The ship is also managed by a Lebanese company, Talia Shipping Line. A third party owns the over 800 cattle onboard.

Majed Eid, Talia Shipping Line director, says that they have remained docked outside Cartagena port since being barred from entering Spain. “We remain at anchor outside Cartagena port because first the Spanish authorities told us we could not enter. That was on Sunday or Monday,” Eid said.

Eid added that they may lose all the animals if they enter Spain. “Then the Spanish authorities said we could enter [the port] but that all the cattle – they are all bulls about seven to eight months old – must be slaughtered,” he said. Furthermore, Eid claims no one has even mentioned vets possibly coming to inspect the ship and test for bluetongue.

Eid laments that there is no proof of the animals suffering from any condition. As a result, the company wants to be allowed to enter the country and have the animals tested before any action is taken. “We do not want to slaughter the healthy animals. That is the proof of the good care we have taken, only 15 dead after more than 60 days at sea. We expected people to thank us, not criticise us,” Eid said. “We are crying out for help but the Spanish government is not helping us. No one is helping us,” he added.

The other affected ship is the Elbeik, which left Spain with over 1,700 cattle. Currently docked off the coast of Cyprus, the ship lacks a clear destination. The sailors are now calling on the Spanish government to allow the animals to be tested before further action is taken.

Via The Guardian

Lead image via Pixabay