Gold Standard animal exports back on the table

FARMERS WEEKLY – farmersweekly.co.nz – October 23, 2023

Live animal exports look set to return, but not without new 'gold standard' requirements to protect animal welfare and safety.

National, ACT and NZ First all committed during election campaigning to reversing the ban on live exports and putting enhanced animal welfare standards in place.

Federated Farmers dairy chair Richard McIntyre says the election outcome could mean live exports are back on the table.

"We've been arguing that the ban should be repealed. and we expect to see this happen under new Government."

McIntyre says live exports are a significant earner for farmers when domestic market and environment conditions, such as droughts, are unfavourable.

Live exports have earned New Zealand around $300-$400m a year (that jumped to $524 last year with the ban on the horizon).

The Government's 2021 Regulatory Impact Statement noted: "...livestock exports make a small but important financial contribution to individual farmers by helping diversify their income streams.

"In addition to fetching premium prices, if export cattle are sold as yearlings, farmers can receive an earlier than normal return on investment."

In the 10 years to 2021, around 5000 farmers across all regions of New Zealand had supplied breeding cattle for export, the Regulatory Impact Statement said.

McIntyre says Federated Farmers also welcome stronger welfare standards.

"New Zealand farmers already have high standards for animal welfare on-farm, and we expect the same with exported animals.  This is about protecting our international reputation, but it's also about maintaining our reputation here in our communities."

Read more at: https://issuu.com/farmersweeklynz/docs/fw_23-10_issuu/20


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