Wednesday, 15 August 2012

'Smelly ship' to be investigated

Pearl of Para
Russia demands an explanation
GIBRALTAR (GibChronicle/by Eyleen Sheil) ‘Pearl of Para’, a cattle-carrying ship that wafted into the Bay on July 28 for bunkering and brought with it a very unpleasant smell, is at the centre of complaints from animal welfare activists. It is now being claimed that 400 pregnant cattle may have died on board during the journey from the USA to Russia, but this had not been confirmed. In a report published in The Voice of Russia, it is alleged the cattle died and the report questions not only why, but who is responsible also, accusing the US as this was the port of departure or Italy as this was the flag of state she sailed under. However, registry records show her flag to be the Marshall Islands. The article quotes the>>>
head of the Federal Veterinary and Phyto-Sanitary Oversight Service (Rosselkhoznadzor), Sergei Dankvert advising that, “A ship from the U.S. that was carrying 3,900 head of cattle for Russian farms arrived recently at the port of Novorossiysk, but about 400 head perished during transport.”
The Voice of Russia say that one of the reasons for the deaths could have been the shutdown of the manure removal and ventilation system, but Rosselkhoznadzor’s deputy head Nikolai Vlasov, has said he does not rule out other reasons for the death of the animals.

The remaining cattle have arrived in Russia and are currently in quarantine.

Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) also took up the case. The animal welfare group campaign to end all cruel factory farming practices. Founded by a British farmer in 1967, CIWF has impacted factory farming on many levels, with one of their major success stories being the banning of veal crates, initially in the UK and then in the EU.

The group also believe that 400 cattle died. With regard to speculation as to how the animals died, they said: “Whatever the full truth is, the simple fact is the welfare of animals on journeys of such huge distances just cannot be guaranteed.”

Adding: “With the sheer number of shipments of live animals across the globe every day, it is impossible to know the number of them who die in transit but it is certain to be higher than the incidents we hear of.”

Russian authorities have launched an investigation into the incident and CIWF with the Animal Welfare Institute has called on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate the incident. 

An Automatic Identification System (AIS) is showing that the ship is due back into Gibraltar this morning, on its return from Russia; however a spokesperson for the Port Authority advised that they have not received any official information regarding this.

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