While the “Ever Given” is still stuck across this strategic seaway, an NGO is worried about the fate of thousands of sheep, whose situation has become “critical”.
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Eleven cargo ships from Romania carrying live cattle are currently affected by the blockade of the Suez Canal, the Bucharest health authorities announced on Saturday (March 27th), an NGO concerned about the fate of 130,000 animals.
“Representatives of the carriers have been contacted and assured that there is sufficient food and water on board the ships for the next few days.”, the National Veterinary Sanitary Agency (ANSVSA) said in a statement.
If the situation were to last, other means of supply would be considered, said ANSVSA, also raising the possibility of rerouting the boats to “unload the animals in other ports”.
For the organization Animals International, however, these sheep are in danger of death.“The situation is critical and risks becoming an unprecedented maritime tragedy involving live animals”, warned his manager in Europe Gabriel Paun, in a press release. “If the animals run out of water and food, they will start pushing each other and all perish.”, he said.
These fears echo the tragic sinking of a cargo ship in the Black Sea in November 2019, shortly after its departure from the port of Midia (south-eastern Romania). Of the 14,600 sheep on board, only 180 had been rescued.
The NGO has repeatedly denounced the conditions for transporting livestock by sea on “ships of death”, citing cases where thousands of sheep died of thirst or literally cooked alive on the journey in midsummer.