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SAFE to launch petition to Parliament at Rally

International Awareness Day to Stop Live Transport will today see caring Kiwis outside Parliament, speaking out against the cruelty of the live export trade. Animal rights organisation SAFE and more than 50 animal groups globally are highlighting the cruelty of live export, marking the anniversary when 13,000 sheep died on board a harrowing journey of the Trust1 ship.

The rally at midday today, coordinated by SAFE, will launch the organisation’s petition to Parliament. They seek to ban the live export of animals to countries with lower animal welfare, transport and slaughter standards than New Zealand.

SAFE Head of Campaigns Marianne Macdonald says help is urgently needed for New Zealand animals in the live export trade.

"Animals who survive live export from New Zealand often face a life of suffering in their destination country," says Ms Macdonald.

"Once those animals leave our legal protections, their fate is out of our control and they may endure treatment and slaughter too cruel to be considered legal in New Zealand. By allowing animals to be sent to countries with lower animal welfare standards, the Government is undermining our animal protection laws."

Earlier this week, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced the Government was considering a range of options, following a review of the live animal export trade. The Minister ordered this review three months after SAFE contacted him in January with evidence of the severe suffering of New Zealand cows in Sri Lanka. One of the options the Government is considering is a ban on the export of live cattle. SAFE insists this will not go far enough.

"New Zealand exports millions of animals each year, not only cattle but also sheep, goats and chicks. 99.9 per cent of the animals exported, go to countries whose animal treatment and slaughter methods would be illegal here."

"We’re urging all caring Kiwis to sign our petition to Parliament, demanding a total ban on the export of live farmed animals to countries with lower animal welfare, transport and slaughter practices."

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