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Tighter controls on live animal slaughter exports

Tighter controls on live animal exports for slaughter

The export of livestock (sheep, cattle, deer and goats) for slaughter will be prohibited unless the risks to New Zealand's reputation as a responsible exporter can be adequately managed. This decision was made following a recent review by the Government of New Zealand's live export policies.

"The review addressed concerns about the treatment and handling of livestock, and slaughter practices in importing countries. It also looked at the potential impact on New Zealand's reputation as a responsible exporter of agricultural products," Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton said today. "It concluded that improvements were needed to manage the risks of potential ill-treatment of animals and any economic consequences that might result from that."

In October this year, the Government considered putting in place a Customs Export Prohibition Order to implement this change in policy, and consulted exporters, industry groups and other representatives of the farming industry.

"MAF received 44 submissions from these stakeholders and animal welfare advocacy groups. Most submitters supported the Government's decision to put in place tighter controls," Jim Anderton said. "While the Order prohibits all exports of livestock for slaughter, this is not absolute. Individual consignments may be approved on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Director-General of Agriculture and Forestry. Approval would only be granted if the Director-General judges that the risks can be adequately managed."

Exporters will be required to provide an affidavit as to the purpose of export for all livestock exports. The additional controls do not apply to exports of livestock for breeding or other purposes.

MAF will provide exporters and trading partners with guidance as to the factors that the Director-General of MAF may take into account in deciding whether to grant an exemption. This could include the applicant's experience from past trade.

- As a result of stakeholder submissions, some adjustments have been made to the proposed exemption factors that the Director-General of MAF may take into account when considering any application for an exemption to a Customs Export Prohibition Order.

- Exporters will, in accordance with the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act 1999, need to satisfy the Director-General of MAF as to the conditions for international transport of livestock up until the point of disembarkation.

- Where livestock are being transported by sea this may include a requirement that a MAF-accredited veterinarian accompany the shipment, experienced stockmen are on board and provision is made for rapid disembarkation and, if required, quarantine.


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