Ever Given, a Panama-flagged cargo ship, that is wedged across the Suez Canal and blocking traffic in the vital waterway is seen Saturday, March 27, 2021.
  • The Ever Given ship is still lodged in the Suez Canal, causing a jam of more than 200 vessels.
  • At least 20 livestock ships are trapped, The Guardian reported.
  • The stranded animals could starve and die if the situation lasts much longer, a charity warned.
  • See more stories on Business Insider's home page.

At least 20 livestock ships have been unable to pass through the Suez Canal due to the blockage of the global trade route by the massive Ever Given container ship, according to The Guardian.

These livestock ships are among the more than 200 vessels stuck in the bottleneck, according to The Washington Post.

There are concerns that if the blockage lasts much longer, the animals stranded on the ships could starve, dehydrate, and even die.

"My greatest fear is that animals run out of food and water and they get stuck on the ships because they cannot be unloaded somewhere else for paperwork reasons," Gerit Weidinger, EU coordinator for the Animals International charity, told The Guardian.

"Getting stuck on board means there is a risk [for the animals] of starvation, dehydration, injuries, waste buildup so they can't lie down, and nor can the crew get rid of dead animal bodies in the [Suez] canal." Weidinger continued. "It's basically a ticking biohazard timebomb for animals and the crew and any person involved."

The majority of the ships loaded animals weeks ago in both Spain and Romania, Animals International told The Guardian.

Spanish officials told the paper on Thursday that a pause has been introduced on shipping animals to the Middle East due to the logjam, the paper said.

"We cannot tell you anything about these ships, but due to the blockage of the Suez canal as a result of the grounding of the cargo ship, the Spanish administration has given orders that no animal transport ships bound for Saudi Arabia and Jordan should be loaded until the canal can be navigated normally," the Spanish agriculture ministry told The Guardian.

The Romanian agriculture ministry did not respond to the paper's request for comment.