The Animalist Party in Cyprus on Sunday, Urged the Cypriot government to intervene to save hundreds of sick and stranded cattle on a boat anchored in the north of the divided Mediterranean island. A load of animals departs from Spain in December is now outside the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – not recognized by the international community – because no country wants to allow cattle to enter its territory, according to the party.

The Animalist Party called on the Republic of Cyprus, which controls the southern two-thirds of the island, to use “all appropriate means” to rescue sick and stray animals for two months. Nicosia was called to seek help from the European Commissioner for Health in this matter.

Famagusta port where the ship reportedly docked

Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 invasion of its northern third by the Turkish army in response to a coup attempt to reconnect the island to Greece. According to the British newspaper The Guardian, thousands of cattle are stranded at sea in two boats that left Spain in mid-December.

The two ships were due to leave for Libya, daily reports, but many ports refused to let the animals in due to an outbreak of bluetongue on board. One of these boats, the Elbeik, is anchored off the city of Famagusta, in northeastern Cyprus, and carries about 1,700 head of cattle, according to the newspaper.

The Cypriot diary Phileleftheros says the authorities are aware of the situation and are checking whether the boat enters the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus. According to the newspaper, the international NGO Compassion in World Farming asked the Cypriot Ministry of Agriculture to send veterinarians on board to examine the animals as soon as possible.

With the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of animals are “trapped” in inadequate transport conditions, according to the Cyprus Animation Party. He joined a campaign to ban the transport of live animals.

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