New Zealand has announced that it will ban live animal exports from April 2023.
The animal welfare amendment bill was recently signed into law, with the government saying it would protect New Zealand’s reputation as consumers become more ethically conscious.
New Zealand exported 134,722 cattle last year, and live exports represented about 0.6% of primary sector exports. However, New Zealand only exports animals for breeding, not slaughter.
Live exports have long been controversial in Australia and New Zealand. Many groups are concerned about the treatment of animals while on board long boat trips. When they go wrong, they often result in thousands of animals drowning.
Earlier this year, more than 15,000 sheep drowned after a live export ship sank in Sudan, and in 2020 a capsize killed 14,000 sheep. In 2021, 3,000 cattle were stranded at sea for three months, leaving many dead, dying, starving, or extremely dehydrated.