Citing reputational risk from poor animal welfare practices, New Zealand is banningby sea. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor Wednesday announced the controversial practice would end within the .
There’s a lot of public pressure here, a lot of concern,” Mr. O’Connor said.
“We mustof the curve in a world where animal welfare is under increasing scrutiny.”
The practice was paused in September 2020 after the Gulf Livestock 1 ship sank on a journey to China, drowning 41 crew – including two Kiwis and two Australians – and almost 6000 cattle.
While exports resumed a month later with more rigorous welfare standards,Ardern’s government has decided to phase out the trade over the next two years.
Unlike Australia, New Zealand does not export live exports for slaughter, only for breeding.
The ban will mainly affect cattle farmers, with sheep exports already banned.
New Zealand will continue to allow live exports of animals by air, which has lesser welfare concerns, a practice used to sell horses.
The country has exported cattle to, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Mexico in the last five years but, since 2020, solely to China.
Kiwi exporters sent 118,000 cattle overseas then, with 129 dying.
Mr. O’Connor said after “a bit of a gold rush”, the industry was worth($A240 million) last year but said he didn’t expect a hit to GDP.
The government informed the Chinese Embassy a fortnight ago of the move.
“We have a mature relationship with (China). I’m sure they understand our position that we want to uphold our reputation and that everything we trade is from an ethical base,” he said.
Animal welfare, while export bodies have slammed the call. World Animal Protection NZ executive director Simone Clarke called on suit. “The New Zealand government’s announcement to phase out live exports in the coming years is a significant moment in our history for animals, one which other governments worldwide now follow, including Australia,” she said.
Mr. O’Connor refused to join them,export policy was a matter for individual countries. Middle East make their way to be loaded onboard the Al Messilah livestock vessel at the Fremantle wharf in February 2019.” src=” https://sl.sbs.com.au/public/image/file/2dc38d0e-c01f-4e4c-a11c-f8c65feffb10″ alt= “Sheep destined for the Middle East make their way to be loaded onboard the Al Messilah livestock vessel at the Fremantle wharf in February 2019.” width= “700” height= “461”/> Sheep destined for the Middle East make their way to be loaded onboard the Al Messilah livestock vessel at the Fremantle wharf in February 2019.
The West Coast-Tasman MP said many farmers supported the ban while acknowledging others would lose out.
The Animal Genetics Trade Association called the ban an “ill-informed, massively consequential decision for the nation to earn short-term political brownie points from a few activists”. “This is an immoral ban against a trade being conducted humanely. There is no morality in removing half a billion dollars from our economy and forcing the early deaths of up to 150,000 animals a year,” AGTA spokesman Dave Hayman said.