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New Zealand makes history by becoming the first country to ban live export by sea

Sunday 30 April 2023, 5:26AM

By SAFE For Animals

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Live export by sea will be finally banned this weekend, on 30 April 2023. The milestone will be marked with celebratory events across the country.

The decision was backed by Kiwis with over 30,000 people signing SAFE's petition and over 57,000 emails sent to the Prime Minster calling for a ban. The Ministry for Primary Industries began a review of the live export trade in 2019 when news broke of New Zealand cattle suffering in Sri Lanka. The review found over 86% of submitters were in favour of a total ban on the trade.

SAFE CEO Debra Ashton says the ban sends a powerful message to the world that the mistreatment of animals will no longer be tolerated.

"The overwhelming support for the ban demonstrates that Kiwis have chosen compassion over commerce," says Ashton.

"The ban will spare hundreds of thousands of animals from the horrors of live export and has prompted similar calls across the globe. Australia is now moving to ban the live export of sheep, and Luxembourg has limited the countries they will export to for animal welfare reasons. Steps have also been made to tighten regulations for live export from the European Union, amidst pressure to ban live export completely.

Despite the very real risks to animal welfare and New Zealand’s reputation, the National Party announced last week that it would overturn the ban on live export if elected to Government at this year’s General Election.

"No amount of tinkering will make live export acceptable. Animals will continue to suffer under National’s policy. We cannot control how other countries treat their animals which is why this ban must be protected."

"This ban wouldn’t have been possible without the tens of thousands of calls, emails and petition signatures, and the protestors who demonstrated their opposition to every ship arrival. Many will be celebrating the ban at events this Sunday. SAFE would like to acknowledge the efforts of everyone who contributed to this victory and commend the Government for their commitment to ending this cruel practice."