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The Animal Genetics Trade Association says that a longer timeframe for the review from MPI (Ministry of Primary Industries) of the safety for transporting live animals at sea may lose hundreds and thousands of dollars for farmers in the industry, and the country, of up to $200,000,000.
The longer the review takes from MPI (Ministry of Primary Industries), it may require an abandonment of up to $200,000,000 in farmer contracts between September of this year and towards the end of December.
“The safe shipping of people and animals to their destinations is hugely important to our trade. We support this part of the review and need to learn how whatever happened to the ship can be prevented in future exports.”
“However, a necessary review of ship safety following a maritime disaster has inexplicably morphed into an unnecessary wider review into the welfare of animals. “
27,000 cattle, held by New Zealand farmers, are currently waiting to be exported to other countries around the world.
The income cost to the farming industry is approximately $300,000 per day that allows the cattle to be fed, and this also accounts for ships waiting at ports to be loaded up to meet signed and sealed export contracts.
“The Government has already been assessing the animal welfare factors in breeding stock export, through a separate review they have conducted over the last twelve months. This was a maritime disaster – the first in 25 years for a livestock ship out of NZ or Australia, and it should be investigated as such. The welfare of the animals during export voyages is a different issue from the safety of people and animals following the capsize of Gulf Livestock 1.”
“Those farmers need all opportunities to maximise stock sales and reduce wastage. Removing the ability for them to sell their livestock to export will weigh very heavily on their financial situation on top of a bad drought year and an impending historic economic recession.”
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