New Zealand’s Ministry of Agriculture said Thursday that the government has decided to ban the export of live live animals by sea after a transition period of up to two years due to animal rights concerns.
Exports of livestock products are New Zealand’s primary source of export revenue, with seaborne exports accounting for only about 0.2 percent of that, with an average annual export of NZ$60 million between 2015 and 2019, Reuters reported. By 2020, New Zealand will export more than 113,000 cattle by sea.
However, Damin O’Connor, Of New Zealand’S Department Of Agriculture, Territorial Information And Rural AffairS, Told ReporterS: “Our Failure To Ensure The Safety Of These Livestock At Sea Is An Unacceptable Risk For New Zealand.” ”
Referring to the possible impact on foreign trade, he said: “I recognise the importance of our trade relationship with our international partners and we are committed to working with our trading partners to make the transition to ending seaborne livestock exports.” ”
Animal rights groups welcomed the move, but livestock groups in New Zealand said the government’s decision was completely unexpected. Wayne Langford, a spokesman for the New Zealand Farmers’ Federation, said the organisation had “never received any information that livestock exports violate high industry standards.”