A ship carrying almost 15,000 sheep overturned on Sunday in the Black Sea near Romania, according to news reports, setting off a desperate effort to rescue the animals and renewing a focus on the livestock shipping industry, which has been previously criticized for its treatment of animals.

It was not immediately clear what caused the ship, the Queen Hind, to overturn near the port city of Constanta shortly after it departed for Saudi Arabia.

The ship’s crew — 20 people from Syria and one from Lebanon — were all rescued, Ana-Maria Stoica, a spokeswoman for the rescuers, told Agence France-Presse.

The fate of…

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