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Greens See Red Over Transport Conditions

by 5m Editor
29 November 2007, at 10:33am

NEW ZEALAND - The Green Party is calling on the Government to address the inhumane conditions suffered by animals during transport to export markets.

Welfare is at stake during transport.

Green Party Animal Welfare Spokesperson Sue Kedgley was responding to the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry's review of the trade in live animal exports, which focuses on the handling and slaughter conditions at the end of the animals' journey.

In her submission to the review Ms Kedgley says while she is supportive of the move to address the welfare of live animals on arrival in importing countries, tighter controls are needed on their welfare for the duration of their journey.

"These animals will still suffer many weeks of sweltering heat, sea sickness and infections on their journey just so that they can be slaughtered 'humanely' on arrival in the importing country. Animal welfare is severely impacted as many of these animals die en route and the others suffer in terrible conditions, enduring storms and delays that are often unavoidable. This is totally unacceptable," Ms Kedgley says.

"It is interesting to note that the review will see requirements equivalent to the World Organisation for Animal Health Guidelines applied to the post-journey transport, handling and slaughter of animals in importing countries while the current legislation continues to apply during the duration of their journey." Ms Kedgley said.

"Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton's concerns appear to primarily stem from an interest in protecting New Zealand's trading image, not the welfare of animals suffering at sea". Ms Kedgley said.

"If this review is to be more than a merely a PR exercise we must address the important animal welfare issues and implement the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Guidelines for the Transport of Animals by Land, Sea and Air to the entire duration of the animal's journey."

The Green Party has been campaigning for many years to end the inhumane trade in live animals.

"We are seeking an alternative to the transport of live farm animals for slaughter where the journey exceeds eight hours. We also support exchanging breeding material through semen, egg and embryo import and export as a means of ending live shipments."

5m Editor