Live Export Cruelty Continues Under ‘Compassionate’ Coalition Government

06 December 2018

As another live shipment of animals leaves from the Port of Timaru this week, we remind the government and the public of New Zealand, that the battle to end this cruel practice is not over.

While NZ banned live export for slaughter almost 15 years ago live export for breeding is ultimately live export for slaughter. 

We oppose the live export of animals, due to the degree of suffering involved, the lack of control over the fate of the animals on arrival and the fact that many of the countries we export to have standards that fall well below what’s acceptable in New Zealand. Any animal live exported for breeding, once used, will ultimately be slaughtered.

A welfare contradiction

Only days ago, the NZ production sector was celebrating the passing of the Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Act, citing that consumers need to know where imported meat products come from due to the lack of welfare standards in ex-NZ countries of origin. 

Publicly acknowledging systemic animal cruelty in non- NZ countries, yet still shipping our animals off-shore to be held and then slaughtered in unacceptable conditions is abhorrent. 

Urging parties to honour their commitments

The cruelty of live animal shipments was recognised by all the parties that form the current coalition Government. Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens all showed support for banning current live export practices, in the Animal Agenda Aotearoa pre-election policy survey[i].

In having successfully formed the Government, these parties now have the opportunity to honour their commitments to the people who voted for them based on those policies. 

In the past five years more around 226,000 animals have been shipped from New Zealand as widely as China, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Mexico.

Ending the Cruelty

In a World Animal Protection Nielsen survey (2014), up to 59% of New Zealanders agreed live animal shipment practices could damage New Zealand’s reputation. 54% agreed it’s morally indefensible and should stop.

The ban on live animal exports for slaughter, is inadequate when hundreds of thousands of animals continue to be sent offshore for breeding, after which, they are ultimately inhumanely slaughtered. 

It's time to ban all live animal exports.

 [i] https://www.animalagenda2017.org.nz/

Live animal shipments undermine our own national standards, and public expectations, especially for those who voted for the coalition parties considering their animal welfare promises
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