Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: SAFE NZ
The Gulf Livestock 1 has a history of engine problems. During a voyage in July 2019, the livestock vessel drifted for 25 hours whilst undergoing repairs following an engine failure.
Australasian Global Exports (AGE), the company exporting the 5,867 cows on the Gulf Livestock 1 before it capsized, was reprimanded by the Australian Department of Agriculture in July 2020. This was following alleged ear tag tampering on cows that were infected with Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR).
Gulf Livestock 1’s engine failed earlier this week in the East China Sea, before it was hit by a wave. One crew member has been rescued, but the remaining 42 crew are still missing including two New Zealanders.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor is expected to release the report from his review of the live export trade after the election.
SAFE Campaigns Manager Marianne Macdonald says the Minister needs to front up with his review now.
“Kiwis are rightfully appalled by the news that 5,867 New Zealand cows have likely drowned at sea. Damien O’Connor is yet to signal where the Government stands on live export and people deserve to know.”
There are currently two other live export shipments in the typhoon affected area, including the Yangtze Harmony which left Port Taranaki on 19 August carrying 5,700 cows. This is the fourth time a typhoon has struck the region this year.
“This is a human and animal welfare disaster. Our thoughts are with the families who are missing their loved ones, but we have to recognise the risk to animals that the live export trade brings.”
“As land animals, those cows would have been terrified during such rough seas with no chance of escape. It would have been horrific.”
Macdonald wants the Minister to publish the report before the election as a matter of urgency.
SAFE is New Zealand’s leading animal rights organisation.
We’re creating a future that ensures the rights of animals are respected. Our core work empowers society to make kinder choices for ourselves, animals and our planet.
– Photos taken aboard the Gulf Livestock 1 during a July 2019 voyage.
– In August 2019, the Dept of Agriculture blocked a shipment of dairy heifers that AGE was intending to export to China. It was suspected that the ear tags on some of the cattle had been removed and replaced with other tags. A few months earlier, another one of their intended cattle shipments was cancelled due to failed tests for IBR (Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis). Rather than source new cattle, it was suspected that the same cattle were then reassigned to the August shipment, but disguised as different cattle with new tags and fake blood samples (i.e. bloods swapped from other healthy cattle).
– Footage of live export ship loading cows at PrimePort Timaru.
– The live export of cattle, sheep, goats and deer for slaughter was banned in 2003. However, it is still legal to export these animals for breeding purposes.
– Animals exported for breeding purposes and their young will eventually be slaughtered, potentially by means too cruel to be legal in New Zealand.
– The Government has been reviewing the live-export trade since June 2019. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has expressed his preference for a conditional ban on cattle exports.