One crew member has been rescued, but 41 other crew members and 5,800 New Zealand cows may have been lost at sea following the disappearance of a live-animal export ship. This isn’t the first time animals and humans have suffered for the live-export industry – and it will almost certainly not be the last. This disaster is further proof that – whether it’s for slaughter or breeding – the live export of animals is too great a risk.
What happened to the Gulf Livestock 1 is a tragedy, and when it would have been considered a “good” outcome that animals arrived at factory farms – where they would endure brief lives as breeding machines before being savagely slaughtered – it’s clear that live export must be banned.
The New Zealand government has suspended the trade, and PETA has written to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, calling for the government for a permanent ban all live-animal exports. The country’s 2003 ban on the export of animals for slaughter abroad has dangerous loopholes that remain in current laws, allowing animals to be shipped alive for breeding overseas.
Regardless of whether they are shipped for imminent slaughter or to endure miserable lives as “breeding stock” before being killed, millions of cows, chickens, sheep, and deer still endure long journeys on rough seas, often while pregnant. They’re still confined to small pens on the voyage, and on arrival, they face life in the concrete confines of a factory farm – surely, the saddest place to give birth.
You Can Help
Public and political awareness of this issue is at an all-time high, and we’re closer than ever to stopping these boats crammed full of terrified animals from leaving our shores. Will you help?
In Australia, two pieces of legislation have the potential to change the fate of millions of animals and the course of history. Greens Member of Parliament (MP) Andrew Wilkie and Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi have introduced bills in the lower and upper houses, respectively, that, if passed, would see an end to the export of live animals for slaughter.
These bills must pass through the House of Representatives, and your local member will be asked to vote. Please sign our action alert to urge your Australian MP to support these legislative initiatives to end live exports.