Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: SAFE NZ
The live export ship Ocean Ute is scheduled to arrive at Port Taranaki tomorrow to export thousands of cows. This is the second time Ocean Ute has exported animals from New Zealand this year.
Radio New Zealand reported today that a paper has been sent to Cabinet, with a decision on the future of the trade likely to be made in the next month or two month. The Government has been reviewing the live export trade since June 2019.
SAFE Campaign Manager Bianka Atlas said even the Prime Minister stated she had ‘significant concerns’ about the trade when the live export ship Gulf Livestock 1 capsized and sunk.
“The Prime Minister and her Cabinet Ministers need to take decisive action,” said Atlas. “If there’s anything we’ve learnt since June 2019, it’s that live export is a high-risk trade that needs to end.”
“We know that the probability of harm to animals is great,” said Atlas.
“Cows are at risk at sea, and they’re at risk in their destination country. The animal welfare laws and regulations we have in New Zealand don’t exist in the countries we export animals to.”
Thousands of cows have been stranded at sea for over two months in the Mediterranean following an onboard outbreak of the viral disease bluetongue on two live export ships. Both ships have been refused entry at multiple ports. Spanish officials now say over 800 cows on the ships must be slaughtered.
Atlas said people are fed up with their ports being used for an industry that puts profits before the wellbeing of animals. “The time for deliberation has long passed. It’s time to act.”
SAFE is New Zealand’s leading animal rights organisation.
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Notes for editors:
– Recent analysis from The Guardian has found that live export ships are twice as likely to be lost at sea as cargo vessels.
– Thousands of cows have been stranded at sea for over two months in the Mediterranean following an onboard outbreak of the viral disease bluetongue on two live export ships. Both ships have been refused entry at multiple ports. Spanish officials now say over 800 cows on the ships must be slaughtered.
– Last year, the live export ship Gulf Livestock 1 capsized and sank off the coast of China. The tragedy saw 5,867 New Zealand cows drown and 41 crew members, including two New Zealanders, lost at sea.
– In 2003, Saudi Arabia rejected a shipment of over 57,000 Australian and New Zealand sheep on board the MV Cormo Express on alleged disease grounds and refused to unload them. After two months at sea and the ship being unable to find a port, around 6,000 sheep died on board. Following this disaster, the New Zealand Government suspended the export of live sheep for slaughter. In 2007, a conditional prohibition on the export of livestock (cattle, sheep, deer and goats) was introduced.
– Under the Animal Welfare (Export of Livestock for Slaughter) Regulations 2016, live animals cannot be exported for slaughter without the prior approval of the Director-General of the Ministry for Primary Industries. Approval may only be granted if the Director-General considers that the risks to New Zealand’s trade reputation can be adequately managed. There have been no livestock exports for slaughter since 2008.
– Animals exported for breeding purposes and their young will still eventually be slaughtered, potentially by methods that would not be legal in New Zealand.