The 'Elbeik' off the coast of Minorca. | Josep Bagur Gomila


Spain has ordered a ship carrying more than 1,700 calves that's anchored off the coast of Minorca, to sail to Cartagena, so that inspectors can determine the health and welfare status of the nimals.

The General Directorate of the Merchant Navy has warned the Captain of the Togolese-flagged ‘Elbeik’ that failure to comply with the order "could constitute a serious Administrative offence."

The order states that the Maritime Rescue & Safety Society will monitor the ship from the minute it leaves the southern coast of Minorca until it arrives in Cartagena.

Related news

According to Maritime navigation radars the 'Elbeik' was still anchored in front of Punta de Macarella in Minorca this morning.

The owner of the vessel was due to return to Spain at the beginning of the month, but decided to delay his trip until the ‘Karim Allah’ case was resolved. That ship was carrying 900 calves which were slaughtered in Cartagena.

The two ships were en-route from Spain to Turkey and Libya where the calves were to be sold, when both countries refused to accept the animals amid suspicions that they were infected with the blue tongue virus. Those allegations were denied by both the Association of Producers, or Asoprovac and the Spanish Government.

The ‘Elbeik’ has now been at sea for nearly three months because other ports refused to accept the animals and according to Animal Equality, at least 100 cows have died.