Animal welfare campaigners have called for an end to the transportation of live animals after thousands of cattle were left at risk of starvation on a stranded ship.
Nearly 4,000 cattle were left without food and water when the livestock ship they were on was stopped from entering a port.
The boat was travelling from Brazil to Turkey and was due to enter the port of Cartagena - its halfway point - to pick up extra food and water but was stopped from entering for several days, leaving the animals starving.
A petition was launched by campaigners and the boat has since stopped at another port but campaigners have called for an end to the “inhumane” practice of shipping animals around the world.
Patricia de Rada, Compassion in World Farming’s Spanish Representative, told Yahoo News UK that the port authorities had confirmed that the vessel stopped at Almería on Tuesday evening and is now on route to its final destination in Turkey.
She said: “Every year, around the world, millions of live animals are transported over thousands of kilometres - by air, sea or land - to be slaughtered or fattened for slaughter.
“During these long journeys they suffer tremendously due to stress, exhaustion, over-heating and injuries.
“These cattle have already been traveling for more than 24 days. It is simply inhumane for animals to be transported on such long journeys where in addition to routine suffering, things often go wrong with disastrous consequences.
“We urgently need to stop this cruel trade to prevent such immense and unnecessary suffering.”
The plight of the cattle was shared via a petition on Change.org by Sue Weeding, founder of the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre, who said the situation had been brought to her attention by a woman who worked for the transportation company arranging the journey.
She wrote: “This story, and the plight of these cattle, is even more timely considering the fires currently burning in the Brazilian Amazon.
“The cattle sector is responsible for about 80% of deforestation in the Amazon, with the Brazilian Amazon having the highest rate of deforestation in the world.
“For these Amazon to be cleared for these animals, who have then endured days at sea in cramped and inhumane conditions, only to die of starvation before reaching their final destination, is saddening, sickening and a complete and utter waste of environmental resources.”