26. March 2024

The most dangerous ships in the world


The average EU-approved livestock vessel is 42 years old. At nearly 30 years old, it was completely inadequately repurposed for transporting live animals. Razor-sharp edges, eaten into the metal by pervasive rust, paint a picture inside the ship resembling a horror movie: oppressive confinement, artificial light, and deafening fans make the ship appear surreal. Sixty-four of these scrap ships are permitted to transport live animals in the EU.


Our new report with the environmental organization Robin des Bois reveals serious shortcomings, as our first report did three years ago. Nearly 50% of these dilapidated ships still sail under a flag that has been officially classified as a black flag. This means that even after three years, these ships continue to pose a significant risk and must be immediately taken out of service. When it comes to animal transport ships, scrutiny is still lacking. Even ships sailing under a gray flag have so many deficiencies that they have been detained in ports up to 10 times. However, a permanent ban on these black- and gray-flagged ships has been absent for three long years.

Link to the new report (EN)

We demand a ban on the export of live animals to third countries in the new EU transport regulation. Already, animals should not be transported on ships sailing under high-risk flags.

New film: The most dangerous ships in the world