Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: SAFE NZ
The Guardian has reported that 20 live export ships are delayed, due to the stricken container ship Ever Given, which is currently blocking the Suez Canal. If the situation isn’t resolved, thousands of animals could be killed.
SAFE CEO Debra Ashton said it’s the latest in a series of live export crises.
“It’s unforeseen circumstances like this that make live export so risky,” said Ashton. “And it adds to our concerns for the welfare of animals in the live export trade.”
“Disease, bad weather, and shipping delays can all leave animals stranded at sea.”
Thousands of animals were recently stranded in the Mediterranean on board the livestock ships Elbeik and Karim Allah. Both were bound for Libya, but following an onboard outbreak of the viral disease bluetongue, they were refused entry at multiple ports. Many of those animals have now been slaughtered.
“New Zealand had its own live export crisis last year, when the Gulf Livestock 1 sunk off the coast of China,” said Ashton. “It won’t be the last crisis.”
“The Government is currently considering the future of live export in New Zealand. It is imperative that they ban it.”
SAFE is New Zealand’s leading animal rights organisation.
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– Recent analysis from The Guardian has found that live export ships are twice as likely to be lost at sea as cargo vessels.
– 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.