New Zealand is taking a step in the right direction for animal well being, although there’s still a long way to go. Agriculture minister Damien O’Connor has announced a permanent halt to live animal exports by sea, effective next year 2023. We’ve said before that while there’s cruelty in factory farming and at the slaughterhouse, there’s also cruelty in transportation, with decades of repeated evidence of suffering and death.
New Zealand banned the export of livestock for slaughter in 2008, but has, until now, continued to allow the export of livestock for breeding or dairy production purposes. New Zealand SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen recalled that her organization has campaigned against live exports since 1985. “It’s just barbaric to be doing this to animals” Midgen said. World Animal Protection New Zealand executive director Simone Clarke called O’Connor’s decision to halt livestock exports by sea a “significant moment in our history for animals, one which other governments around the world must now follow.
But let’s remember that exporting for breeding still results in the animal’s slaughter. Ultimately, the answer to the suffering of farm animals is the plant-based diet. That’s something we can all do now and something that doesn’t require us to wait for changes in government policy.