Algeria “Freezes” Import Of Spanish Calves
Spain has suspended the export of calves and live livestock from the Spanish port of Cartagena to Algeria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia due to the recording of cases of blue tongue disease, at a time when a source in the Ministry of Agriculture told “Echorouk” that two ships carrying calves that came from Spain entered Algeria on 13 and 14 February 2021 after they were subjected to all necessary veterinary control and licensing procedures that demonstrated the safety of calves.
Spanish media outlets reported that the Ministry of Agriculture decided to ban all exports of cows, calves and live livestock from the port of Cartagena 3 days ago, due to the appearance of symptoms of blue tongue disease on live calves on board two ships that left the port last January, and was rejected in several countries such as Turkey, Libya and Tunisia.
According to the Spanish newspaper “La Vanguardia”, one of the ships returned to the Spanish territorial waters off the coast of Cartagena, awaiting a veterinary examination of the reported sick calves.
According to local media in Cartagena, in the province of Murcia, the port administration has stopped exporting calves and live livestock to countries such as Algeria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, which are considered the most important destinations from the port itself, without providing additional details.
In the context, an official source at the Ministry of Agriculture told “Echorouk” that the recent period witnessed the entry of two ships to Algeria, which came from the regions of Tracosa and Murcia in eastern and central Spain, as this dates back to the date of February 13 and 14, 2021.
The official source pointed out that the two ships had live calves destined for slaughter, stressing that the calves underwent the necessary veterinary examination by the competent veterinary services teams, and obtained the necessary licenses to enter the country, and were in good health and did not suffer from any problem.
According to the same source in the Ministry of Agriculture, the regions in which blue tongue appeared in Spain are Navarra, Aragon and the Basque Country, indicating that the import license granted by the Algerian veterinary services excludes these regions.
Regarding the two ships with which the Blue Tongue cases were recorded and rejected in more than one country in the Mediterranean, the same source explained that the Algerian veterinary services have the ability to track the movement of these ships which have not approached any Algerian port.