Thousands of animals are trapped in tight quarters on ships stuck in the Suez Canal. Conservative estimates report 20 ships are carrying livestock. Most of the animals are believed to be sheep, however some of the ships could also be transporting cattle. Seven of the ships headed towards Jordan have 92,000 animals on board.
According to the Straits Times, the container ship Ever Given remains wedged in Egypt’s narrow canal since Tuesday, and it could be days or possibly a week until it can be dislodged. The Panama-flagged ship carries cargo between Asia and Europe.
As reported, ships that carry livestock usually bring a few extra days of water and food and if necessary are able to head to a nearer port for extra supplies for the animals if needed or arrange to have another vessel unload the needed supplies. In emergencies, ships have sold the animals to a nearby country, but what happens now?
Five of the ships had loaded animals in Spain and nine had loaded in Romania according to Animals International.
“Update: The number of livestock vessels being affected by the blocked Suez Canal is increasing! We urged all member states to immediately stop sending animals to countries relying on this part of the route and to call all affected vessels back. The clearance could take even up to weeks, the salvage company said! Yesterday another attempt to free the stuck container ship blocking the canal has failed. Two more tugs to support the mission will only arrive by Sunday while every single day counts for animals on board! We keep monitoring the situation closely!”
The animals now risk starvation, dehydration, injuries, waste buildup so they are unable to lie down nor can the crew dispose of the animals who have died in a timely manner.
The United States has offered to aid efforts to move the Ever Green in order to open the canal. Several vessels are taking the detour around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope.
(Screenshot of Ever Green stuck in Suez Canal via Reuters)
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