Animals Trapped On Ships In Suez Canal Jam Could Starve If Situation Lasts Much Longer, Charity Warns
Concerns have been raised regarding livestock ships caught up in the Suez Canal jam, with fears animals could starve to death.
Since Tuesday, March 23, Evergreen’s 400m-long Ever Given has been lodged in the international shipping lane, causing rerouting chaos for companies all over the world and delays – which will only continue until the huge boat is moved.
However, in addition to those issues, at least 20 of the 200-plus vessels stuck in the bottleneck are carrying livestock. Soon, they could run into problems regarding animal welfare.
Gerit Weidinger, EU coordinator for the Animals International charity, told The Guardian, ‘My greatest fear is that animals run out of food and water and they get stuck on the ships because they cannot be unloaded somewhere else for paperwork reasons.’
She added, ‘Getting stuck on board means there is a risk of starvation, dehydration, injuries, waste buildup so they can’t lie down, and nor can the crew get rid of dead animal bodies in the [Suez Canal]. It’s basically a ticking biohazard timebomb for animals and the crew and any person involved.’
Of the delayed ships, 20 are believed to be carrying animals, according to data from the charity and the Marine Traffic website.
Efforts to dislodge the container ship have been unsuccessful so far, with tug boat attempts suspended on Friday evening. While the concerns for animals aren’t necessarily immediate, they could come into play if Suez Canal is blocked for an extended period of time. The US Navy is sending a team to assist with the situation.
With regards to the livestock aboard ships affected by the canal blockage, the Spanish agriculture ministry told the publication, ‘Due to the blockage of the Suez Canal as a result of the grounding of the cargo ship, the Spanish administration has given orders that no animal transport ships bound for Saudi Arabia and Jordan should be loaded until the canal can be navigated normally.’
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