New Zealand’s Live Export Ban Is Under Threat

Posted on by Dan H

New Zealand’s ban on live export was world-leading . It put a stop to the live export by sea of cattle, deer, goats, and sheep from New Zealand last year, sparing around 3 million live farmed animals every year horrific suffering on voyages around the world. But now, the new government – under pressure from the animal agriculture industry – plans to overturn the ban.

Animals on live-export ships face dehydration, starvation, and illness and are tossed about on rough seas, trampled by their shipmates, and suffocated by their own faeces. It means nothing to these sensitive individuals that New Zealand would “only” export “breeding stock”. They would still endure gruelling and unacceptably dangerous journeys and be forced to give birth again and again on depressing factory farms before being killed in ways that would be illegal in New Zealand.

Animals exploited by the live-export trade face tragedy after tragedy: in 2021, the Suez Canal blockage trapped at least 20 ships carrying cows and sheep, putting the lives of hundreds of thousands of animals at risk, and in 2020, the vessel Gulf Livestock 1 went missing in the East China Sea after leaving Napier in New Zealand. Forty-one crew members died, along with nearly 6,000 cattle.

Countless investigations have shown the ghastly conditions in which animals languish for weeks while being transported by sea – enduring seasickness, crowding, and exposure to all weather conditions.

You Can Help

If you live in Aotearoa, please write to your MP to remind them that the overwhelming majority of people support the ban, with 86% of respondents during the review process advocating for a total ban on live-animal exports by sea . The long duration of the arduous voyages means live export by sea can never be compatible with the welfare commitments New Zealanders expect.

Please join the Animal Save Movement, SAFE, End Live Export New Zealand, and others in vigils and rallies to speak up for animals and protest the government’s decision.