New Zealand Government to export live cattle to Indonesia

Most New Zealanders agree that live export is horrific. That’s why the Government banned live export for slaughter several years ago.

Now there is evidence that our Government plans to export cattle to Indonesia under the guise of a breeding programme. If the deal goes it ahead it spells terrible news for New Zealand animals.

Undercover investigations in Indonesia by Animals Australia in 2011, showed that cattle were abused and tortured during the slaughter process. Despite assurances from the industry that changes would be made, a subsequent undercover investigation the following year revealed ongoing cruelty and dozens of animal welfare breaches.

In reality, if the New Zealand trade deal goes ahead, cattle and their offspring will eventually be killed in Indonesia under conditions that would be deemed cruel and illegal here.

Exporting animals for slaughter has been illegal in New Zealand since 2003. However, animals sent for breeding will face the same fate in the long run. 

“Our government keeps pretending that sending animals overseas for breeding is somehow different than sending them for slaughter, which is illegal,” says SAFE Executive Director Hans Kriek. “The reality is that these ‘breeding’ animals will be slaughtered after a few years in a manner deemed cruel and illegal in New Zealand.”

Indonesian slaughter practices do not require the animals to be stunned before they are killed. This means that cattle will have their throats cut while fully conscious, resulting in appalling suffering.

The planned cattle exports to Indonesia follow on from the sheep who were exported to Saudi Arabia in 2015, when about 75% of lambs born after arrival died. The on-going controversy over this deal between the Government and a Saudi businessman was investigated by current affairs show The Nation where Hans Kriek was interviewed.  More recently 8,000 cows were shipped to China by Fonterra.

Whether for breeding or slaughter, live export is a slippery slope that leads inevitably to animal suffering. We need to stop ALL live export of animals for breeding and slaughter!

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21 July 2016