Live export ship arrives in Mexico

The NADA, the ship carrying the biggest ever live export of sheep and cows from New Zealand, 53,000 animals, has now arrived in Mazatlan, Mexico and unloading has begun. SAFE has received some photographs and eyewitness accounts, but there is no news yet on the number of mortalities. It is understood that some animals have died.  Local activists are investigating, and further updates will be made as more information comes in.

Live export problems

The shipment will have been both terrifying and stressful for the sheep especially as they are already nervous animals by nature. It is common on live export ships for a number of animals to die from illness or starvation. Some suffer from ‘inanition’ – not recognising the ship food of pellets as food as they were previously used to being on pasture. The sheep on this latest shipment to Mexico had to stand and lie in their own faeces for the entire trip. Now the animals face another grueling journey. Already weakened from their 16 day shipment they will be transported by truck for 1000 kilometres in searing 30 degree temperatures to a farm near Mexico City from where they will be distributed to smaller farms.

In Australia, more than 2,500,000 sheep, cattle, and goats have died on live export ships since 1981.

Shipment from Timaru

Just over two weeks ago SAFE was notified that 50,000 sheep and 3,000 cows were to be sent to Mexico on a live export shipment from Timaru. The SAFE Christchurch team drove to the port after they were alerted that boarding of the sheep had begun straight away. Hans Kriek viewed the sheep at the feedlots where he was told some sheep had died already. He demanded access to the ship, which was turned down.

Although the shipment is purportedly for breeding purposes rather than for slaughter, SAFE feels this latest shipment ignores the spirit of the ban on live export. These animals will still eventually be slaughtered in Mexico after they are no longer required for breeding and the journey is exactly the same, which is a major issue. We are also very concerned about the animals eventual death, as countries of destination often use slaughter methods that are illegal in New Zealand.

Animal deaths

Last week it was also revealed that the secret deal in which the NZ Government flew pregnant sheep to a farm in Saudi Arabia had disastrous animal welfare consequences with 75% of NZ lambs dying from starvation, diarrhea and animal husbandry problems. 


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Send a message for a ban on live export for slaughter OR breeding.



29 June 2015