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MPI (Ministry of Primary Industries) is launching an independent review for the safe transport of Livestock by sea.
The independent review will issue assessments that MPI receives of exporting live animals, and that consists of carriage by sea as a mode of transport and susceptibility of hard and distress to Livestock when being exported by ship.
Rear Admiral Tony Parr, who is retired, will be supporting Mr Heron for the assessment of livestock exports.
Ray Smith, who is the MPI Director-General, says Mike Heron has been selected to lead the independent review.
The review is expected to take around a month, after the loss of the Gulf Livestock 1 in a maritime tragedy, a livestock ship carrying 5,800 cows that sent a distress signal at 4:45 am NZT on September 2 in the East China Sea.
The area that the ship has been in was affected by Typhoon Maysak. The ship sank, increasing public affair regarding the live animal trade in New Zealand.
New Zealand has temporarily halted live animal exports as a result of the incident.
The search for Gulf Livestock 1 Survivors was suspended on September 11 – Forty Crew, 5,800 Cows Lost. The search for any survivors from the missing Gulf Livestock 1 called in two of the vessel’s 43 crew members that were rescued, according to a report from the shipowner on September 10.
“The current temporary suspension of cattle livestock exports will remain in place until the review report is completed and considered,” says Mr Smith.
“This is an extremely difficult time for the families of those on the Gulf Livestock 1 and my thoughts are with them.
“At the heart of our decision to temporarily suspend cattle livestock exports is a commitment to helping ensure people and animals on livestock export boats are safe.
“We are working closely with exporters, who have provided assurances that animals currently on pre-export isolation farms are in good condition and well looked after.”
Image courtesy: Vessel Finder