March 15, 2023
New Zealand to ship three more cattle shipments to China before ban
Three additional shipments of live cattle are anticipated to leave New Zealand for China, before the ban on the trade is enforced at the end of May 2023, RNZ reported.
The New Zealand government granted the livestock export industry a two-year transition period when it announced the ban on exports by sea in 2021.
The exports were permitted to continue under stricter regulations after the sinking of Gulf Livestock 1, which had 43 crew members, including two New Zealanders, and almost 6,000 cattle onboard when it overturned in the East China Sea in 2020.
According to data from New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries, 134,590 live cattle were exported to China last year, where they were utilised for breeding purposes. In comparison, 134,722 cattle were exported in 2021, and 109,921 were exported in 2020, with much lower numbers in 2019, when just under 40,000 cattle were shipped to the country.
The ministry said that this year, two shipments of livestock containing a total of 11,574 cattle had already left New Zealand. Furthermore, three more shipments were in the works, with the latest scheduled to leave Napier Port on April 19, 2023.
Damien O'Connor, New Zealand's Agriculture Minister, Damien O'Connor, said that exports of livestock presented an unacceptable risk to New Zealand's reputation, particularly in a world where animal welfare was increasingly under scrutiny.
The primary industry spokesperson for the ACT Party, Mark Cameron, introduced a Member's Bill into the ballot, aiming to repeal the ban on livestock exports. Cameron said that if the industry was regulated to the highest standard, it would address any concerns about the country's reputation without severing a crucial revenue stream for farmers.