New Zealand phasing out livestock exports

Cattle in from of Mount Taranaki (Source: Wikimedia Commons).

New Zealand’s government has announced that all livestock exports by sea will be banned by 2023.

By Michael McGrady, Maritime Direct Americas & Pacific Correspondent

WELLINGTON — All exports of livestock by the sea will be phased out following a two-year-long transition period, announced Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

“At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high standards of animal welfare. We must stay ahead of the curve in a world where animal welfare is under increasing scrutiny,” Damien O’Connor said in prepared remarks.

According to government economists, the decision will affect some farmers, exporters, and importers and permit them to adapt to the sector during the transition period.

This ban will enter force in 2023. 0.2 percent of New Zealand’s primary sector exports rely on live exports by sea since the fiscal year of 2015.

“I recognize the importance of our trade relationships with our international partners, and we’re committed to working with them as we transition away from the shipment of livestock,” said O’Connor.

South China Morning Post reports that New Zealand’s actions aren’t due to trying relations with the People’s Republic of China. The top importer of New Zealand live cattle is China. O’Connor said that “this is not about China. It’s about animal welfare and our reputation.”

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