Sheep stuck on board sinking ship in Romania are left to die

Photo: Animals International
Photo: Animals International

UPDATE! Four Paws Internationals has entered the ship Tuesday night and is trying to save the sheep that are still alive!

The Romanian government has called off rescue efforts to try and save the sheep that are stuck on the cargo ship Queen Hind. Sunday morning, the ship capsized in the Black Sea with 14.600 sheep on board.

Even though activists at the scene say they hear noises coming from the ship, no one is coming to rescue these animals. Only 33 sheep have been saved.

A rescue team started looking on Sunday for the animals when it overturned but stopped looking at night. Monday they looked again, but now the government has called off any rescue efforts.

On Twitter, there’s a photo circling of a sheep being ‘rescued.’ Two humans are laughing while dragging the animal by his ears over the sidewalk after he just survived a tragedy.

The sheep were being transported from Romania to Saudi Arabia. There they were going to be killed for food. It’s the second time this year the Romanian government has been in the spotlight for exporting live sheep under critical conditions.

The ship Queen Hind was built in 1980. According to Eurogroup for Animals, the Romanian government approved the ship to travel with the live animals despite being outdated, not made for live transport, and encountering engine problems in December.

Last summer, Romania approved another horror shipment of 70.000 sheep to the Persian Gulf. It was so hot, sheep boiled to death on the ship.

Transport carcasses and meat and not live animals
There is a growing consensus on the need to shift to a meat and carcasses only trade; the example of New Zealand shows that banning live export and favoring another way of trading is already possible.

Animals International’s director in the EU, Gabriel Paun: “Tragedies like this will continue to occur regardless of improvements and better law enforcement. There is just one way to end this risky, unnecessary and barbaric trade: replace live export with the trade in meat and carcasses.”

Romania is breaking EU laws
With around 2.4 million sheep exported each year, Romania is the world’s busiest harbor for live animals – but this tragedy is further proof that the Member State has no protocols in place for such disasters.

Reineke Hameleers, director of Eurogroup for Animals: “It is high time the Commission intervened, both by tackling maladministration by Romania and by putting forward a concrete strategy to replace live transport with a meat and carcasses only trade.” 

Sadly another three vessels were loading animals when the tragedy occurred on Sunday in the Midia harbor in Romania.

UPDATE! Four Paws Internationals has entered the ship and is trying to save the sheep that are still alive!

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