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New Zealand announces stricter rules on livestock shipments

New Zealand announces stricter rules on livestock shipments

New Zealand, following a fatal incident involving a livestock carrier, is imposing tighter regulations on the export of live animals by ship.

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New specifications for the safe transport of livestock by sea were introduced by the country's Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on 23 October.

They follow an independent study, led by Mike Heron QC and assisted by Rear Admiral Tony Parr, of the animal welfare guarantees MPI receives from exporters. After the tragic loss of Gulf Livestock 1 in early September, the review was initiated.

“We’ve moved quickly following the Heron review to ensure no serious animal welfare issue for the 24,000 cows in pre-export quarantine, which would likely have to be slaughtered if interim measures weren’t put in place. We want to ensure they are moved safely. It’s important to note New Zealand does not export animals for slaughter, but as breeding stock," said MPI Director-General Ray Smith.

The Cabinet introduced an absolute ban on shipments of livestock up to 23 October and a conditional ban from 24 October to 30 November. For the conditional prohibition period, immediate changes will occur.

The changes will include, in particular, a targeted maritime inspection of livestock carrier ships entering New Zealand for the purpose of carrying livestock through Maritime New Zealand as an additional safeguard.

The changes will also include increased voyage reporting requirements, including regular veterinary reports during travel, as well as increased minimum feed provisions to ensure that at least 20% of feed is available for unplanned travel delays.

If all conditions are met, livestock shipments may not be able to receive authorisation for AWECs.

Maritime Business World 

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