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Sheep shipments will slaughter NZ’s overseas image

| 25/03/2009 | Reply

The Green Party is calling on the
Government not to resume the cruel and unnecessary trade
in exporting live sheep overseas for slaughter.

“There are
no benefits, only risks to New Zealand, from resuming
live sheep exports,” said Green Party Animal Welfare
Spokesperson Sue Kedgley.

The Minister of Agriculture
David Carter has confirmed that New Zealand wants to
resume live sheep exports with Saudi Arabia. New
Zealand stopped live sheep exports in 2003 due to concern
about our overseas trading image. Now Awassi Ltd, a
majority owned Saudi company, is seeking permission to
resume the trade.

“This trade is not just cruel it makes
no economic sense,” said Ms Kedgley “In Australia meat
workers unions estimate that twelve thousand jobs have
been lost and 70 abattoirs closed as a result of their
live sheep exports. Why would we want to risk job losses
and abattoir closures in New Zealand?”

“Live sheep
exports are completely unnecessary as most sheep in
New Zealand are slaughtered according to Halal customs.
Halal-certified meat can be, and is, exported frozen and
chilled to the Middle East,” Ms Kedgley said.

“Sending
sheep across the world for slaughter violates the
basic principle that animals should be slaughtered as
near to where they were raised as possible to minimise
distress.

“Sheep are jammed onto ships and forced to
endure overcrowded and stressful conditions that can lead
to blindness and disease for the animals, only to be
killed, often in horrendous conditions, at the end of
weeks of torment at sea,” said Ms Kedgley.

“Australia has
gained a reputation for animal cruelty as a result of
its trade in animals for slaughter. Why would we risk
damaging our reputation, just so a company with majority
overseas ownership can earn some short term
profits?”

Link to the release from the previous Minister
of Agriculture pointing out the risk to NZ’s overseas
image and economy from a resumption of live sheep
exports:

http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/tighter+controls+live+animal+exports+ slaughter

Category: Meat & Poultry, Oceania

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