30. July 2020

France | Port of Sète | Live transports by sea

Our team observes how dock workers are loading the ETAB with straw for the next journey.

Our team is in France for an investigation in the EU port of Sète. From this port, live animals from Europe are often shipped across the Mediterranean to the Maghreb states and the Middle East.

During our investigation, we document two animal transport ships in the port of Sète: ALONDRA (year of construction: 1995) and ETAB (year of construction: 1966). Ships are considered outdated after twelve years since they pose a higher security risk. Our research has shown that the ships that are often used for live transports are on average more than 35 years old. They pose a high risk for animal welfare since vital systems such as ventilation or water supply can fail during transport.

Particularly in the case of the 54-year-old ETAB, there have always been serious violations in the past. The ship has already faced detention in several ports. Only a couple of months ago, in March 2020, the ETAB was detained in the port of Sète due to several problems with the ship.

Today, however, it looks as if the ETAB could leave the port of Sète. Our team is observing how dock workers are loading the ETAB with straw. This is a clear sign that the ship will soon leave the port with live animals on board. However, we still do not see any trucks with animals waiting in the surrounding port area. We suspect that the loading will take place during the night due to the high temperatures. However, it is impossible for us to observe the loading in the dark.

Now, our teams will continue to monitor the ETAB and will work towards removing outdated ships that are posing threats to animal welfare from circulation.