As if animal welfare issues werent bad enough, now live ex has been associated with human trafficking. According to Splash 24/7 Spanish police apparently arrested the captain of an the livestock carrier Elita which arrived in Cartagena from Libya finding eight Syrians onboard who had been working as forced labour, without the right training or documents. The Syrians had apparently been working on the ship under “exploitative labour conditions” for several months after paying for a promised transfer to Europe, but were subsequently forced to work at sea.
This should be no surprise as an August 2021 article in The Guardian highlighted the value of livestock ships in illegal transport. The French NGO, Robin des Bois, which specialises in maritime safety stated that "Livestock ships are unrivalled in their usefulness for illegally transporting dubious goods, such as narcotics, weapons, counterfeit goods and wildlife by-products”. The advantages of livestock ships, include the off-putting logistics of where to put animals if a ship is impounded, the size of the vessels, their poorly paid crews, global reach and the stench that makes sniffer dog searches difficult or impossible.
NOTE: the Elita is the third name this ship has sailed under since 2019 (previously Bruna and Darya) and Guyana is its second country of registration since 2019 ....ho hum.