Greece has said that it would be delivering 50 tons of animal feed to livestock carrier Elbeik before it begins its return to Spain. The vessel has been stuck in the Mediterranean with more than 1,500 cattle on board for nearly three months.
The vessel was expected to sail for Spain once the animal feed had been delivered late on March 9th, a Greek agriculture ministry official told Reuters.
Spain’s government did not confirm it was expecting the return of the Elbeik, which left the Spanish port of Tarragona in December.
Turkish authorities rejected the animals over concerns they had bovine bluetongue virus. That refusal meant that no other ports in the Mediterranean would accept them. Several countries have refused them entry even to replenish animal feed.
A Greek shipping ministry official said that the Elbeik was not allowed to dock at any Greek port but it had received fuel off the island of Crete in recent days.
The vessel was moored off the port of Kalamata in the southern Peloponnese peninsula on March 9th; authorities are expected to deliver food for its crew and the cattle in the coming hours.
Meanwhile, the slaughtering of the 900 cattle aboard the Karim Allah (IMO 6519144) in the port of Cartagena was scheduled to be completed by March 10th. The operation had been delayed after legal representatives of the vessel had presented an appeal to suspend it, but the Fourth Section of the Administrative Litigation Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid announced that it had denied the suspension of the slaughter order.
The court noted that 85% of the animals had skin conditions that could be caused by a fungal infection, and a large number of them suffered from digestive disorders. The slaughter was recommended for sanitary reasons and animal welfare.
The Spanish authorities hoped that the port of Cartagena could resume animal exports on March 16th.
1967-built, Togo-flagged, 2,867 gt Elbeik is owned by Ibrahim Maritime Ltd care of manager Rana Maritime Services SA of Khaldeh, Lebanon.
1965-built, Lebanon-flagged, 2,587 gt Karim Allah is owned by Khalifeh Livestock TRD Co SARL care of manager Talia Shipping Line of Saida, Lebanon.