SAFE calls for assurances over potential live sheep exports

SAFE has written to PM John Key calling for an immediate assurance that he will not allow the resumption of live sheep exports for slaughter to the Middle East, following reports in the media.

The export of live animals for slaughter has been banned in New Zealand since 2003, after 5000 sheep died on an Australian shipment bound for Saudi Arabia, causing outrage among the public. The issue continues to cause massive controversy in Australia where the cruelty is still legal. New Zealand already allows live export of dairy cows to China and some sheep to other countries for breeding purposes.

It was reported that the export of live sheep may be discussed in a bid to secure a free trade deal with the Middle East.

For the animals, a step onto a live export ship can mean a stressful, terrifying three week ocean journey to the Middle East and a huge potential for serious suffering.  Animals in the live-export for slaughter trade are crammed onto crowded multilevel ships. Starvation and exposure to extreme temperatures can occur. In Australia, more than 2,500,000 sheep, cattle, and goats have died on live-export ships since 1981.

SAFE will report back on the issue.


28 April 2015