Spain is set to kill more than 1600 cattle that have been stuck on a livestock ship since December, after ruling them to be both unfit for further travel or importation into the European Union.
It comes just weeks after around 900 animals were slaughtered for the same reason, with the animals in that case spending two months at sea in what animal rights campaigners described as "hellish conditions" before they were killed.
In the latest case, the Spanish agriculture ministry ordered the 1610 cattle travelling on the Elbeik livestock ship to be isolated and killed in the coming days, Reuters reports.
According to a report by government veterinarians uploaded to the website of animal rights group Igualdad Animal, 179 cows on the Elbeik died during the journey and were thrown overboard.
The report said several of the surviving animals were malnourished and dehydrated, with some barely conscious after having been crammed into unsanitary pens without room to lie down.
Reuters said a spokesperson for the agriculture ministry declined to comment on the authenticity of the report.
The slaughter of the 900 cattle earlier this month came after a number of countries in the region refused entry to the ship carrying them because they feared the animals had bovine bluetongue virus.
That ship finally returned to Spain where it was inspected by government veterinarians who said the cattle must be destroyed.