One of two livestock ships at sea since mid-December with thousands of cattle on board is now at the Spanish port of Cartagena, but the fate of its cargo is unclear.
The two vessels left from different ports in Spain before Christmas to deliver their cargoes of animals, but were each refused entry by various countriesincluding Turkey and Libya, owing to suspected outbreaks onboard both ships of the bovine disease bluetongue.
Spain’s government and the country’s largest association of beef producers, Asoprovac, have both said the cattle came from areas free of bluetongue.
On Tuesday, the Spanish news agency EFE reported that although Turkey had originally agreed to take the cattle, satisfied they were bluetongue free, the animals were rejected on arrival because of disease fears.
A Spanish government source confirmed that the Karim Allah, carrying a reported 895 calves, was anchored just outside the Spanish port of Cartagena. The other ship, Elbeik, carrying 1,776 animals, continues to sit at anchor in Turkish waters off the coast of Cyprus.
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