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Live export tragedy

5867 New Zealand cows were loaded onto the livestock vessel, Gulf Liverstock 1, enroute from Napier to China last month. Nineteen days later, a distress signal was sent out by the ship’s captain as typhoon winds and rain battered them. The livestock vessel capsized and all the animals onboard drowned. A unnecessary and unethical tragedy of mammoth proportions.

In 2019, the New Zealand government commissioned a review of the live export trade in Response to an Animals Australia expose on sick and dying New Zealand cows in Sri Lanka.

The findings of this review will not be available until after the New Zealand 2020 elections. Until then, it has been business as usual. However, due to public outrage and government humilialtion after this latest tragedy, a temporary ban on live export was announced. The opponents to live export sighed a collective relief but animal farmers and live export companies gasped a collective anxiety. The pull and push on the government is palpable. Farmers wanting to offload their excess livestock, on the other hand, the public calling for aban on live export trade. The solution is simple.

Replace the New Zealand live animal export industry with plant-based products by promoting and expanding plant-based export markets.

Animal welfare regulations continue to fail the animals it supposedly seeks to protect. To thisend, other solutions are possible.

Assist plant-based businesses grow their export markets. Assist animal farmers transition into plant-based farming.

21st century solutions to a 20th century problem.

If the New Zealand government has the courage, innovation and foresight to imagine a green, sustainable, prosperous economic future for New Zealanders, moreover, ban this barbarous trade, New Zealand can be a world leader in this space.

Ban live exports now.
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