A cargo ship full of cattle from Spain destined for sale in Turkey was rejected by authorities in Ankara over infection worries and is currently moored off Famagusta port in breakaway northern Cyprus.
This is what Reuters reported on Friday, adding that the Togo-flagged ship, the ElBeik, is now loading animal feed.
And that Turkish Cypriot “authorities” did not determine whether there was an outbreak aboard.
Turkish authorities had recently rejected another vessel and suspended live animal imports from Spain after an outbreak of the insect-borne bluetongue disease was detected in the Spanish province of Huesca.
Matilde Moro, head of Spain’s ranchers association Asoprovac, accused Turkey of spreading false information and called on the Agriculture Ministry to stop all animal trade with the country.
“I don’t want even one more ship to leave for Turkey when Turkey can take such arbitrary decisions,” she said.
Animal rights group Igualdad Animal said the case was further evidence of the need to ban live animal exports outright.
“These animals came sick from the Spanish ports. Many of them have already died and those still alive are suffering a hellish ordeal” Igualdad Animal’s director in Spain, Silvia Barquero, said in a statement.