Rotting cow carcasses cause health concerns in Brazilian port town

Rotting cow carcasses cause health concerns in Brazilian port town

More than a week after a livestock carrier capsized and sank at Porto Vila do Conde in Barcarena, Brazil, failure to deal with the carcasses of thousands of drowned cows is becoming a health and environmental concern for nearby residents.

The vessel, the Lebanon-flagged Haidar (6,419 dwt, built 1994) was carrying 5,000 head of cattle destined for Venezuela. On October 6 while moored at Porto Vila do Conde, the ship began listing then overturned. It sank within two hours.

Crew members evacuated safely but almost all the cows were less fortunate.

Now decomposing animals on the beach are raising a stench but as yet no group has stepped forward to handle the problem.

The cattle were owned by beef producer Minerva SA, which says the contracted shipping company (not named) is responsible for the cargo. The Haidar belongs to Tamar Shipping of Lebanon.

Local authorities in Barcarena – in Para State in the north of Brazil – want all port activity suspended to prioritize disposing of the rotting animal remains.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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