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New Zealand to phase out livestock exports by sea

Te Whanganui-a-Tara – The export of livestock by sea will stop following a transition period of up to two years, the government says.

Agriculture minister Damien O’Connor says at the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high standards of animal welfare.

The announcement comes after 16 ships last month taking live animals from the EU to the Persian Gulf were stranded by the grounding of the Ever Given cargo vessel in the Suez Canal bottleneck.

The live animals inside the blisteringly hot cargo containers, were running out of feed and water before the tragic end than that was to wait them in the slaughterhouses at their destination.

This New Zealand government decision will affect some farmers, exporters, and importers and a transition period will enable the sector to adapt.

Live exports by sea represent approximately 0.2 percent of New Zealand’s primary sector exports revenue since 2015.

O’Connor says voyage times to Aotearoa’s northern hemisphere markets pose animal welfare challenges.

New Zealand has an opportunity to boost trade through our cutting-edge scientific work into dairy cow genetics and germplasm use.

The value of New Zealand’s livestock exports have fluctuated over time, averaging around $60m per year between 2015 and 2019.

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