A large animal charity voiced concern for the animals aboard the livestock ships stuck in the Suez Canal. If the situation doesn’t improve, the animals could starve.
Since Tuesday, March 23, a 400m-long, 220,000-tonne ship called Ever Given has been lodged in the Suez Canal.
The canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, is an international route for trade ships, many of which have been trapped or re-routed since the Ever Given became stuck – blocking the whole canal.
Among the 200+ ships caught in the cross-fire are 20 vessels believed to be carrying livestock, according to the Independent. With limited supplies aboard each ship and unexpected delays that have no resolution in sight, the fate of the animals aboard the boats could be grim.
Article continues below
Our Featured Programs
See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!
According to The Guardian, the EU coordinator for Animals International charity, Gerit Weidinger, said:
“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.
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.”
According to The Guardian, thousands of animals were slaughtered earlier this year due to delays at sea. A mix-up of paperwork resulted in a few livestock ships being turned around, and as a result, the animals were forced to be slaughtered. While we don’t know how long this delay will last or what the outcome will be, we can only hope the same fate won’t befall these animals.
Aside from the concerns of animal welfare, the canal blockage has been causing delays and issues around the world. Efforts to dislodge the Ever Given began immediately after it became stuck on the 23rd, but all efforts have proven unsuccessful thus far. It seems that the animals could be fine if the situation is resolved immediately, but if it continues for an extended period of time then the outcome could be devastating.
The US Navy is working on sending a team to assist with dislodging the Ever Given, so hopefully their efforts combined with others will be able to free the massive ship.
Help Rescue Animals
Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free! →