Compassion in World Farming is saying a huge thank you to its amazing supporters, who sent 40,000 emails in 40 hours to the Brazilian and Egyptian authorities and the World Animal Health Organisation, the OIE, in response to a live transport crisis on the Red Sea.
The terrible news of a stranded ship, the Gracia del Mar, with thousands of dead and dying cattle on board, came through to us on Friday March 2nd. We were told the ship, which had around 2,750 dead cattle on board, had been refused permission to unload at its Egyptian destination and had failed to find a port willing to take her.
Compassion launched an immediate investigation and raised the alarm with the authorities in Brazil, where the ship had come from, and Egypt, urging them to adhere to and live up to their responsibilities under the OIE regulations for animals in transport and sort the situation out quickly.
Compassion also alerted its committed supporters, who sprung into action lobbying the two governments and the OIE.
We now have a fuller picture of what happened on this tragic voyage that caused the needless death and suffering of thousands of animals.
We are told the Gracia Del Mar, carrying 5,600 cattle, was hit by a freezing snowstorm off the coast of Algeria and thousands of the animals succumbed to the cold. The ship continued to Egypt where it was refused permission to unload in Egypt and spent several days in the Red Sea, with the dead cattle still on board, unable to find anywhere to dock.
We've since been told the remaining live cattle were transferred from the ship and taken to land. We are still trying to ascertain exactly where they were taken.
Of course, we believe that the root cause is long distance live transport itself. This archaic trade should not exist. That is why we will continue to fight to end it. With our amazing supporters, we are confident we can win - like the transporters themselves, we are in this for the long haul.