After a two-year review, the Government has decided to ban the export by sea of all livestock.
The independent National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC), which advises ministers on animal welfare issues, advised that the practice should stop.
Exporters say 110,000 cattle were exported for breeding over the last calendar year, representing more than $300 million in trade. Live exports by sea have represented approximately 0.2 percent of New Zealand’s primary sector exports revenue since 2015.
Exporters have been given a two-year phase out window to accommodate existing commitments. The export of livestock for slaughter has been banned by NZ since 2007.
Just in recent weeks, in the face of weekend protesters, Napier Port has processed four livestock ships, with livestock numbers undisclosed. Good to see our Port put out of this business. They should have done it on their own, as BayBuzz advocated in $151m we don’t want.
Making the announcement, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor emphasised the need for New Zealand had to uphold its reputation for high standards of animal welfare:
“At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high standards of animal welfare. We must stay ahead of the curve in a world where animal welfare is under increasing scrutiny.”
“Ultimately we aren’t able to guarantee the welfare of these animals at sea and that is an unacceptable risk to New Zealand’s reputation.”
“The fact is, once animals leave New Zealand by sea we have very limited ability to ensure their wellbeing before they reach their destination … that is an unacceptable risk to New Zealand’s reputation.”
Courtesy of Stuff, here’s the video of O’Connor’s announcement.