Victory! New Zealand’s Ban On Live Animal Export Finally Goes Into Effect On April 30th Saving Millions Of Lives

A critical bill in New Zealand that was passed in 2021 to ban the live export of animals overseas will go into effect on April 30th. The last live animal export by sea departed yesterday from New Plymouth, New Zealand.

Following a review into New Zealand’s live export sector, the decision was made to cease live export by sea over a two-year transition period ending on April 30, 2023. As previously reported by WAN, that decision came two years after a live export disaster that claimed the lives of 6,000 cows and 41 crew members after a vessel that left New Zealand, headed for China, subsequently capsized off the coast of Japan. 

“In a market where consumers are becoming more and more discerning about ethical and environmental credentials, this Government has moved to ensure that New Zealand’s reputation for ethical trade is not at risk,” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said in a statement. “Our position on the map means that the journey to northern hemisphere markets will always be a long one and this brings unavoidable animal welfare challenges.”

According to O’Connor, since 2015, live exports by sea have represented only 0.32% of primary sector export revenue for the country. While O’Connor acknowledged that this resulted in the economic benefits for some farmers, New Zealand has to protect the international reputation of its annual $53 billion dollar primary export industry.

“This is why we initiated the review in 2019 and subsequently made the decision to cease live exports by sea by the end of April 2023. A decision supported by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee,” O’Connor stated, further explaining that the two-year transition period allowed affected farmers the time to adjust their supply chains and business plans.

O’Connor also noted that New Zealand is now in step with likeminded partners on the importance of animal welfare, such as Australia, which has moved to phase-out live export of sheep.

“Recent talk of restarting live exports by sea simply ignores the reality that our consumers overseas take issues of sustainability, climate, and animal welfare seriously, which is why they are reflected in our recent FTAs (Free Trade Agreements),” stated O’Connor.

The Government of New Zealand is committed to ensuring that its farmers stay at the forefront of sustainable and ethical trade and that every part of the country’s food production system upholds high standards of animal welfare, per O’Connor.

Perhaps the government should encourage farmers and consumers to consider more plant-based options.

Every year, more than 1.5 billion birds and 49 million live cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and horses suffer horribly while being transported across borders within the EU and to third world countries. The EU-wide legislation regarding the transport of live animals will finally be revised in the coming years. This is an important opportunity to tell decision makers that this cruelty is unacceptable.

Please sign FOUR PAWS’ petition urging all EU Member States to finally put an end to cruel live animal export HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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