Petition to end live export to be presented to Parliament
Animal rights organisation SAFE will today hand over their petition to Green MP Gareth Hughes, calling for an end to live export cruelty.
The petition seeks to ban the export of live animals to countries with lower animal welfare, transport and slaughter standards than New Zealand. SAFE launched the petition following an ABC News exposé in April that showed New Zealand and Australian cows suffering in Sri Lanka two years after they were exported by live export corporation Wellard Limited.
SAFE will be symbolically representing the 7,500 day-old chicks that are exported every day, and the thousands of cows exported from New Zealand in the past month.
SAFE Campaigns Officer Mona Oliver says it’s time for the Government to act once again to protect animals in the live export trade.
"Today is the 16-year anniversary of the Cormo Express disaster where nearly 6,000 animals died aboard a live export ship," says Miss Oliver.
"That exposé prompted the then Labour Government to ban the export of live animals for slaughter. However New Zealand still exports thousands of cows for breeding purposes, and millions of day-old chicks every year. All of these animals will eventually be slaughtered, potentially by means too cruel to be legal in New Zealand."
"We can’t impose our laws on other countries, but we can choose to protect our animals by keeping them in New Zealand."
Following the ABC News exposé, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced a review of the live export trade. The Minister has indicated his preference for a conditional ban on live exports, however his review excludes the majority of farmed animals that are exported, most of which are day-old chicks.
"The Agriculture Minister’s review will ignore 99% of the farmed animals currently exported live. These animals all have the ability to suffer as much as the cows, sheep, deer and goats that are part of the review."
"The Minister must close the loopholes in the live export trade. By ensuring that we don’t export animals to countries with lower standards than New Zealand we can protect our animals from conditions that would be illegal here. It’s the right thing to do."