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On The Anniversary Of The Live Export Ban, SAFE Urges The Government To Stand Firm

Today marks the one-year anniversary of New Zealand's groundbreaking ban on live export by sea, a move hailed globally as a pioneering leap forward for animal welfare.

Since its implementation on 30 April 2023, tens of thousands of animals have been spared the harrowing ordeal of sea journeys to countries with inadequate animal protection laws.

However, despite staunch opposition from animal advocacy organisations and the New Zealand public, the coalition Government has signalled its intention to overturn the ban.

SAFE CEO Debra Ashton says while this milestone should be a cause for celebration, it is overshadowed by the looming threat of its reversal.

"The ban on live export was a response to years of advocacy and public outcry against the inhumane treatment of animals during transportation. It was a recognition of the inherent cruelty and suffering inflicted upon animals subjected to long-distance transport under often deplorable conditions."

"We are urgently calling on the coalition Government to uphold the ban, recognising the irreversible harm that lifting it would inflict on animal welfare and New Zealand's international reputation," says Ashton.

A petition led by John Hellstrom (retired veterinarian, past Chief Veterinary Officer of MAF (now MPI), past Chair of the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee), supported by advocacy groups such as SAFE, SPCA, HUHA, VAWA, Animals Aotearoa, World Animal Protection and Animal Policy International has garnered over 33,000 signatures, underscoring widespread public support for maintaining this crucial measure.

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"The live export ban is a testament to New Zealand's commitment to compassion and ethical treatment of animals. Reversing it would not only be a grave mistake but also tarnish our reputation as a global leader in animal welfare," says Ashton.

"Today, as we pause to commemorate this anniversary, we urge the Government to listen to the voices of the people and preserve this landmark legislation."

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