Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Compassion has been informed of a horrific situation unfolding near Eritrea. Right now, thousands of cattle are dead or dying, stranded on a converted cargo ship in the Red Sea. The recently converted livestock vessel Gracia Del Mar is carrying cattle from Brazil to Egypt. Reports suggest that one of the ship’s engines has broken down and this has led to ventilation failure resulting in extreme suffering and the death of many animals. More than 2,750 cattle are thought to have died on board already, and the situation is worsening with every hour that passes.The ship has been refused permission to dock at a number of ports, including in Egypt, due to the large number of dead and dying animals. The surviving animals desperately need veterinary care or, where necessary, to be humanely euthanized. Reports suggest that conditions onboard are desperate. Back in 2005, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) issued guidelines on animal welfare during transport at sea. Both Brazil and Egypt signed up and, as the exporter and importer, they have clear responsibilities for the welfare of these animals.