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Live Export Ship Carrying 5,800 New Zealand Cows Goes Missing In East China Sea

Livestock carrier Gulf Livestock 1 sent a distress signal at 4:45am NZT yesterday in the East China Sea. The area is affected by Typhoon Maysak. At 4pm a patrol plane spotted a lifeboat - with no people in it - and a man in lifejacket nearby.

The ship departed Napier on 14 August carrying 5,800 cows bound for China. 43 crew are reported to be on board, including two New Zealanders.

SAFE Campaigns Manager Marianne Macdonald says this tragedy demonstrates the risks in the live export trade.

"These cows should never have been at sea. To make matters worse they’re likely all pregnant."

"This is a real crisis, and our thoughts are with the families of the 43 crew who are missing with the ship. But questions remain, including why this trade is allowed to continue."

Macdonald says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor must, at the very least, place a moratorium on live exports while his review is underway.

"This is a high-risk trade that puts the lives of animals at risk which is why the export of live animals must be banned."

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