Ship with 6,800 sheep and lambs stuck off the coast of Greece

Ship with 6,800 sheep and lambs stuck off the coast of Greece

A very old ship transporting 6,800 sheep and lambs became stranded off the coast of Greece on Friday. The live animal carrier encountered trouble when departing from Georgia and headed for Saudi Arabia.

The livestock carrier, Lady Maria, registered under the Tanzanian flag and constructed in 1965, ran aground on the northern shore of Pserimos, a Greek island in the eastern Aegean Sea.

After being stuck for several hours, the ship was refloated with the sheep onboard. A tugboat was sent to assist in towing the vessel. The ship will reach the port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia in a week. The animals will then be killed.

Another vessel under the Tanzanian flag, the Tabia, set sail from Romania on Wednesday carrying live animals to Egypt.

According to reports by the German Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) and the French environmental organization Robin des Bois, there are 64 livestock carriers licensed in the EU to load animals and transport them to non-EU countries.

They highlight a trade worth 1.5 billion euros where animals are packed into old, rusty ships, deemed completely unsuitable for live animal transport.

Of the 64 EU-approved livestock carriers, only four were originally designed to carry livestock. The rest are old converted vessels.

Flag of convenience

Most livestock carriers sail under the flags of African countries (and other nations) due to a practice known as “flag of convenience” (FOC). 

Flag of convenience countries typically have more flexible regulations regarding ship registration, crewing, and safety standards. This allows shipowners to bypass the stricter rules and higher compliance costs associated with their home country.

Registering under a flag of convenience can significantly reduce operational costs. This includes lower registration fees, taxes, and labor costs, as FOC countries may have more relaxed labor laws, allowing shipowners to hire crew from countries with lower wage expectations.

Support The Animal Reader – Daily Animal News

The Animal Reader brings you daily news updates on animals. Your support helps grow our independent animal news platform.

Previous articleItalian island Alicudi has too many goats and plans to give them away
Next articleUS to kill half a million barred owls to save spotted owl