Another tragedy is playing out onboard an antiquated livestock carrier – this one built in 1973. On February 23, the livestock carrier Spiridon II left Tarragona in Spain with around 300 young bulls from France and Spain and 7,600 Spanish sheep were on board. Their destination was the Port of Aqaba in Jordan, but engine problems interrupted the voyage, and the ship spent three days near Greek ports. Spiridon II was finally brought to Eleusis, near Athens, Greece on March 4. There the 8,000 animals were loaded directly from the Spiridon II to the Adel I, via a ramp, on the water.
There was no veterinarian on board and it remains unclear whether the animals were fit to continue the journey to Jordan after 10 days onboard the vessel.
Unloading the animals onto European grounds was not an option, because once on the water, they are declared as “export” animals and cannot re-enter the EU. This can lead to tragedies such as the prolonged suffering that occurred onboard the Karim Allah and Elbeik in early 2021, where 2,600 calves and cattle were eventually subjected to emergency slaughter after spending months at sea.
So, yet another live ex "incident" because this is a uniquely and inherently risky trade carried out on ancient vessels to countries with no animal welfare laws.