Following veterinary inspection on-board the vessel on 25 and 26 February

Information on actions by Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food regarding transport of calves on the vessel "Karim Allah"

News - 2021.2.27

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The veterinary inspection, carried out on-board the vessel on 25 and 26 February, verified that state of the calves two months after it left the same port, prevents it from undertaking a further voyage to export to a third country. The veterinary inspection was carried out accompanied by agents from the Nature Protection Service (Seprona) of the Guardia Civil and by the customs service.

The Animal Health Act 8/2003, within the scope of European Union (EU) regulations, prohibits, on grounds of animal health, the import of live animals to the EU from unauthorised third countries. Neither Turkey - the original destination of the calves - nor Libya is on the list of authorised third countries to export live animals to the EU.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food notified the transport authorities of the inspection, and the resolution in which it stated that it would proceed to the isolation and putting down of the animals, in accordance with applicable rules and that, in the event that this should not be the case, it would be the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food that would perform this on a subsidiary basis.

The vessel "Karim Allah" set sail from Cartagena on 18 December with a cargo of 895 calves bound for Turkey. At the time of its departure, the vessel was covered by a certificate from the Spanish veterinary authorities, which guaranteed the good state of health of the animals and respect for the transport conditions, pursuant to EU law.

The Turkish authorities rejected the export certificate issued by the Spanish authorities and prevented the landing of the calves at the port of destination. The reason for this rejection was based on the non-acceptance by the Turkish authorities of the concept of EU zoning in the matter of animal welfare. Based on this concept, the health authorities of Member States may zone off those areas in which a certain disease is present within the territory of a Member State, thus distinguishing zones that are free of disease where live animals or meat products can be exported from. This is a basic principle of the health regulations of the EU. In the case at hand, the animals came from zones free of bluetongue disease, their state of health was certified and they were thus healthy animals suitable for export.

Subsequently, the transport authority contacted the Libyan authorities, which once again rejected the landing of the animals at the port of destination.

When the vessel approached Cartagena Port, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food adopted all the legal measures to navigate the vessel into port and thus inspect the health conditions and welfare of the animals. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food performed its actions in compliance with prevailing regulations and with the express intention of reducing the health risks and animal suffering.

Non official translation