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Russian camels held at Ukrainian border head for Bulgaria

ROSTOV-ON-DON, February 12 (RIA Novosti) - A group of camels bound for Bulgaria that have been held at the Russian-Ukrainian border for two weeks have been allowed to transit Ukraine, a Russian border official said on Thursday.
A truck carrying 20 camels from the southern Russian republic of Kalmykia was stopped by Ukrainian customs officials after crossing the Russian border on January 31. Customs agents checked all of the documents and cleared the truck containing the animals to leave Russia, but the truck was not allowed into Ukrainian territory.
The animals are being taken to circuses in Bulgaria.
The Russian border official said that the camels have already left for Bulgaria via Ukraine and that all of the documents for the animals were in order. She added that food for the animals during their transportation had also been provided.
 One of the camels died last week, apparently from asphyxiation, after which Ukrainian border officials allowed the animals out of the truck for exercise and provided hay and water. The animals had to endure freezing temperatures during their delay at the border.
A Russian customs spokesman earlier said that the animals had been denied entry to Ukraine in connection with laws prohibiting the transit of animals through the country due to concerns over African swine fever.
 Due to Ukraine's decision to hold up the animals, a Bulgarian circus last Friday sent its own truck to transport the animals via Russia, Belarus and Poland, although they have been allowed to take the direct route thought Ukraine. The truck had been expected to arrive by Monday, but only reached the border on Thursday morning due to adverse weather conditions.

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