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SPCA New Zealand is calling for the Government to put an end to exporting live animals by sea.
An impending Cabinet decision on the future of live export trades is set to discuss the implications of the dangers and regulations surrounding animals' safety being exported.
Chief Executive Andrea Midgen says Ministers have the opportunity and voice to listen to most New Zealanders who advocate for animal rights regarding concerns from SPCA, over welfare fears.
“There are a number of recent incidents which have seen thousands of animals die on ships bound for overseas ports, and we’ve now reached a point where enough is enough,” she says.
“Quite simply, we have blood on our hands. Cabinet has a responsibility to show that animal welfare is indeed important to our country.”
It is up to our government to ensure that animals bred in this country are treated humanely throughout their lives and are not exposed to handling, rearing or slaughter practices that would be contrary to New Zealand’s laws and regulations.”
A recent investigation done by MPI revealed ships that carry live animals are twice as likely to suffer a ‘total loss' comparing to cargo vessels.
The Suez Canal was blocked due to a large ship, Ever Given, creating a large backlog of ships that were carrying live animals. Around 20 ships were stranded leaving insufficient feed and water for the animals on Kevany and Safi. The animal numbers were not exactly known.
Other incidents occurred in Spain where 17,00 cattle and 864 young bulls were culled for welfare reasons in progress on the Kevany and Kassam; during 2020 in New Zealand 6,000 pregnant cows drowned after the Ives Et Al ship capsized.
The Gulf Livestock 1 left Napier in New Zealand on August 4, 2020, bound for China, carrying 5,800 cows. The ship was expected to arrive in China by September 3 but It sent a distress signal on September 2 in the East China Sea. It capsized in rough seas due to Typhoon Maysak, and as a result, all cows on board drowned.
SPCA’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Arnja Dale, sent a letter to Ministers urging them to ‘do the right thing' and pose a ban on live exports.
“Conditions on the [vessels], include stocking densities, heat/cold stress, inadequate ventilation, slurry management, lack of dry lying areas, difficulties inspecting individual animals, lack of daily veterinary reporting, and only deaths being reported rather than the welfare compromise of the animals that do not die on board,” she says.
“There are also issues around quarantine, and the lack of control at the destination country after the 30 days of reporting is completed. New Zealanders, including many farmers, have told us that they do not want live exports to continue.”
Ms Midgen adds that SPCA has an important role in making sue Cabinet aware that they need to put an end to live exports.
“SPCA has a responsibility to urge the government and notably the Cabinet, to do the right thing and end the live export of farmed animals once and for all,” she said.
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