Release: Live exports not in New Zealand’s future

Labour will reinstate a ban on live exports of cattle by sea when re-elected.

“Today we are making it clear to the sector that live exports are on shaky ground,” Labour animal welfare spokesperson Rachel Boyack said.

“National said during the campaign it would only bring back live exports if stock were shipped on custom-built vessels, which they claimed would be better for the animals and safer for the crew. But there is no money for that in Budget 2024 and it’s not in the Coalition Agreement with ACT.

“This means they will be signing our country back up to the practice that saw a ship capsize, killing 6000 New Zealand cattle and 41 crew in the Pacific Ocean in 2020.

“The world is changing. Other countries like the UK and Australia have followed New Zealand’s lead and moved to ban live exports. Reinstating this practice will take New Zealand backwards.

“Today a petition of nearly 50,000 signatures from people against the reinstatement of live cattle exports was handed over at Parliament. A recent SPCA survey found 61 percent of New Zealanders do not support the reinstatement of live exports.

“Most New Zealanders do not want this. The Government must listen and put a stop to bringing back live exports,” Rachel Boyack said.

“Before Labour banned the practice, live exports by sea represented just 0.32 percent of primary sector export revenue. We have to protect New Zealand livestock and the international reputation of our annual $55 billion primary export industry,” Labour trade spokesperson Damien O’Connor said.

“Much of our international trade relies on us maintaining good animal welfare standards. For example, the UK and EU Free Trade Agreements include animal welfare provisions. Restarting live exports could put these agreements and the huge benefit they bring to New Zealand at risk,” Damien O’Connor said.

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