Tighter laws needed to stop National skirting around animal welfare

National has made New Zealand’s live export ban meaningless by skirting it, which is why the laws need to be made watertight, said the Green Party today.

National has made New Zealand’s live export ban meaningless by skirting it, which is why the laws need to be made watertight, said the Green Party today.

A ship carrying 50,000 sheep and 3,000 cattle left from Timaru today bound for Mexico. The shipment is the largest ever export of live animals from New Zealand.

“The recent scandals are evidence that the law needs to be made tighter in the animal export area for the removal of doubt,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“The Saudi flying sheep scandal raises doubts about the Government’s commitment to enforcing our live sheep export ban.

“The Government does not support the live export ban. If they did, we would have enforceable animal welfare regulations on the other end too.

“We need to bring in mandatory monitoring upon arrival and enforceable consequences for countries that violate the ‘no slaughter’ rule. Without these provisions, merely saying we don’t export for slaughter gives National an out.

“The Government knows the public will be outraged if the ban on exports for slaughter was scarped, so they are getting around this by allowing sheep to be shipped off for ‘breeding purposes’; even though there is no way of ensuring that the sheep are not slaughtered upon arrival.

“There are too many questions and not enough answers with the latest sheep export to Mexico, just as there are with Saudi Arabia.

“Our laws are based on the values we hold as a country that animals need to be protected; and that is how we should be trading, not trying to make a quick buck,” said Mr Shaw.

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