Live export ship due to berth at Napier Port today
A live export ship is due to berth at Napier Port today, despite widespread calls to halt the live export trade while it is under review.
According to Napier Port’s website, live export carrier Ganado Express is scheduled to berth at Napier Port today. This same ship collected 3,000 breeding cows from Timaru Port in March. This will be the seventh consignment of cattle exported this year, compared to four such exports in 2018.
Animal rights organisation SAFE has asked the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) for the details of the Ganado Express’ export application, but MPI has yet to respond.
SAFE Campaigns Manager Marianne Macdonald says even more animals will be put at risk if this shipment goes ahead.
"New Zealand is facing a gold rush where exporters scramble to ship vulnerable cows overseas while the live export trade is under review, given that Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has expressed his preference for a conditional ban on cattle exports," says Ms. Macdonald.
"This year, live export corporations have already exported more cows than in all of 2018. Many of these animals will spend their lives in concrete factory farms. All of these animals will eventually be slaughtered, possibly by means too cruel to be legal in New Zealand."
Last month MPI Director of Animal Health and Welfare, Chris Rodwell, approved the Yangtze Fortune to export 4,700 cows from Napier Port. This was immediately after the same ship was rejected from exporting 5,000 cows from Australia, following a biosecurity breach and subsequent investigation into the exporter.
"MPI has frustrated any attempt to get information about these shipments. It has refused to confirm who the exporters are and has delayed responses to our Official Information Act requests. We are now taking MPI to the ombudsman."
"We’re disappointed that MPI and Minister O’Connor are still allowing these shipments to occur, knowing what they know about the suffering of New Zealand animals overseas."
"Next week we will be presenting our petition to Parliament to end the export of live animals to countries with lower animal welfare, transport, and slaughter standards than New Zealand. Ensuring our animals don’t suffer overseas is the right thing to do."