Of all the millions of tons of cargo vessels piled into the Suez Canal, none are more fragile than the herds of animals.
Very little information is available because neither canal officials nor maritime sector officials are ready to speak, but data compiled by Bloomberg indicate that 10 ships stranded in and around the canal could have beheaded thousands of cattle.. Given Saudi Arabia’s itinerary from Europe, they will most likely take sheep. The seven ships bound for Jordan hold 92,000 head of cattle.
While most of the lost cargo can be stored on oil, such as ships for long periods of time. Cattle require food and water, and these deliveries are usually sufficient for only a few more days. This can create an important position for ships to find food supplies in a local port, or force them to turn around. It may take at least a week to evaluate a vessel blocking the canal, initially for a longer time than feared, people were familiar with the matter.
“I wouldn’t expect a problem to accumulate after a two-day delay,” said Peter Stevenson, head of policy for animal welfare group Compass at World Farming, which has called for the termination of shipments of live animals. “The problems are getting worse with the passage of time. From time to time, there are real scams when things go wrong, but this is a daily horror ”.
Livestock can also be transported by sea, and ships often carry additional hay or fodder for two or three days.According to Bob Bishop, president of the Association of Livestock Exporters of America, if it runs, they can get more at a port while refueling. A ship that could not make it to the dock is known as an “intermediate cargo”.
Seven cattle ships arriving in Aqaba on 21 March are stranded near the Suez Canal, Jordan Shipping Union representative Capt. George Dahl called and said.
Bishop called from New York and said, “If he is running out of feeds, I will port and put in additional feeds.” “If I was a lord, I would try to find a country that needed sheep,” he said. “The shortest route would be to go back to Romania.”
At least 10 ships designed to ship animals are parked near a closed canalAnd according to the ship’s data compiled by Bloomberg, several routes appear between Romania and Saudi Arabia. Europeans who leave the country probably transport flocks, which Saudi Arabia buys so that the animals are killed according to their religious preferences. There may be empty ships traveling in the other direction.
According to United Nations data, the Middle Eastern country is the world’s largest sheep importer. But the trade route has faced disaster many times. Media reported at the time that some 14,000 sheep were shipped from Romania to Saudi Arabia, when a ship was partially cut in 2019. Rescuers were only able to rescue more than 200 animals.
Thousands of sheep and long trips increase the risk of disease and stressStevenson of the animal welfare group said. He said that some ships used to carry animals have also been converted for other purposes and are not the most suitable. It may be difficult to reverse the course after departure due to sanitary rules.
Bishop said livestock mortality is usually not higher at sea than on land, and most ships have a veterinarian.
According to Bishop, an American shipment of dairy cattle left the Texan port of Galveston at the end of last year for Pakistan via Suez. Recently another shipment of American cattle left the West Coast for Pakistan to avoid Suez due to the toll.
“After this container ship, we can see more and more,” he said.
With information from Bloomberg
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