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Timaru Locals To Protest The Arrival Of A Live Export Ship Today

The world’s largest livestock vessel, the Ocean Drover, is scheduled to collect 7,945 cows from PrimePort in Timaru today. This is the first ship to arrive in New Zealand to export some of the 24,000 cows that have been in quarantine since the sinking of Gulf Livestock 1 in September.

Timaru locals are gathering today to protest the arrival of the Ocean Drover, which berthed last night.

A second live export ship, Ocean Swagman, is expected to arrive in Timaru this weekend, as well as a third ship, Yangtze Fortune, in Napier on Saturday.

SAFE spokesperson Will Appelbe, who’s currently in Timaru, says exporters are rushing to get these animals out of the country.

"We almost can’t keep up with the number of live export ships heading to our shores, but their presence isn’t lost on the locals," says Appelbe.

"When these ships come to New Zealand, people protest, because they’re appalled by this cruel trade."

It’s been two months since 5,867 cows and two kiwis were lost in the Gulf Livestock 1 tragedy. Last month, the Ministry for Primary Industries released new requirements for the export of live animals by sea, following recommendations from a review.

Appelbe says the review is tinkering around the edges.

"The reality is that all of these animals who are exported for breeding purposes will eventually be slaughtered in their destination country, potentially by methods outlawed in New Zealand."

"The incoming Government has a strong mandate to quickly create change. They must end the export of live animals."

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