(photo credit: ISRAEL AGAINST LIVE TRANSPORTS)
A ship now on its way from Portugal to Israel is carrying thousands of calves and lambs, some of which are believed to be infected with an unspecified disease, according to Israel Against Live Transports, an animal-rights organization. The group sent a letter to Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel on Saturday night demanding the livestock-carrier vessel Brahman Express be stopped from entering Israel.
“According to the information we received today, the crew issued a distress call with a request for veterinarians who are experts in live shipments, since the ship has an epidemic and calves and lambs are dead and there is no veterinarian on board,” wrote Anat Refuah and Yaron Lapidot in the letter.
The letter made two demands of the minister: “1. Prohibit the entry of the boat to Israel in fear of a public health risk and order it to return to Portugal.
2. Issue an order immediately that would require the presence of a veterinarian with every shipment from Europe.”
The letter said a requirement is already in place for the presence of a veterinarian on board every shipment of animals from Australia, and that the request asked for nothing different than compliance with those regulations. The organization also reiterated in its letter their main demand – stopping shipments of live animals as soon as possible.
The ship is now in Malta and expected to arrive in Israel on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Agriculture did not respond to a request for comment by The Jerusalem Post
by press time.