New Zealand is gradually going to completely stop the export of live cattle by sea. In view of animal welfare, the country already suspended animal transport by sea last year after a major shipping accident. That ban will now become permanent in two years.
Livestock exports for slaughter have been banned in New Zealand for 15 years. Until now it only exported for breeding purposes. New Zealand suspended ship shipments last year after a shipping disaster that drowned more than 40 crew and nearly 6,000 cows. The ship was on its way to China during a storm near Japan.
"New Zealand must remain at the forefront of a world where animal welfare is under tighter controls," said Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor. He added that the country's reputation always takes precedence over financial benefits.
The export ban has been praised by the nonprofit World Animal Protection. Other countries should now take a similar approach. The organization is now appealing to Australia, but Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said his country had no such plans.
There are also regular voices in the European Parliament that argue in favor of limiting livestock transports. In New Zealand, ranchers are against the new ban. According to them, there is no information indicating a violation of livestock export standards.
Last year, New Zealanders exported live animals worth 261 million New Zealand dollars, three times as much as the previous year.