BREAKING: New Zealand to ban live animal exports

The Gulf Livestock 1 in Australia, 2019, photo: Brian W Scott via MarineTraffic.com/Reuters
The Gulf Livestock 1 in Australia, 2019, photo: Brian W Scott via MarineTraffic.com/Reuters

New Zealand is about to announce the end of live animal exports, according to Television New Zealand (TVNZ). The industry was heavily criticized after a ship carrying almost 6000 young cows from New Zealand to China capsized in September last year. All animals and 42 crew members died.

After the ship, Gulf Livestock 1, capsized in stormy weather in the East China Sea, New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said it had temporarily suspended applications for live transport of animals. But late last year, they allowed exports of cows and sheep again.

“These cows should never have been at sea,” New Zealand’s animal rights organization SAFE said in September. They said the disaster showed the risks of the live animal export trade. They called on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for an end to all live transport. And that’s finally happening.


“It’s a trade whose time has come. It’s a trade we should have got out of years ago,” John Hellstrom, veterinarian and former head of Animal Welfare for MPI, told TVNZ.

“We take animals from an environment in New Zealand where they have a reasonably good life and send them to places where they have a pretty lousy life, and in the process, we subject them to a journey which gets increasingly stressful from a welfare point of view,” Hellstrom said.

The Animal Reader talked to Marianne Macdonald from SAFE shortly after the ship Gulf Livestock 1 capsized, and 6000 cows and 42 people died.


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