Take action Live exports simply aren’t worth the risks

Live exports simply aren’t worth the risks

Demand a ban on live exports

Developing story

The livestock carrier Gulf Livestock 1 has capsized and sunk with nearly 6,000 cows on board. Two crew members have been rescued, one confirmed dead, and the search for the remaining forty has now been called off. This ship has a history of mechanical breakdowns, and pictures of the appalling conditions for the animals onboard have been published by the media. These cows should never have been at sea.

Following the tragedy, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) announced it has temporarily suspended live exports of cattle. This temporary ban needs to be made permanent.

This disaster has highlighted the risks both humans and animals are forced to endure on live export ships. We need to ensure this never happens again.

A review of live export by MPI was already underway when this disaster occurred. On Friday 11 September, in response to this latest disaster, MPI announced the launch of yet another review – this time into the welfare of animals while on they are on board live export ships. This new review is just a pause on business as usual and won’t make a difference for the animals when they arrive in countries with lower or no animal welfare standards. SAFE is calling on the Government to release the results of both reviews before the October election so that New Zealanders are able to exercise their democratic right and hold elected leaders to account at the ballot box.

Cows exported alive from New Zealand are forced to endure weeks of travel in small pens, where the floor soon becomes covered in excrement. In these unnatural conditions they can be thrown around, especially in rough weather. This is stressful and puts these animals at risk of injury. The majority of animals exported from New Zealand will arrive in countries with lower animal welfare standards than New Zealand, or none at all.

Why is the cruel and dangerous trade in live animals allowed to continue?


Virtual Protest to Ban New Zealand Live Export

Two weeks after Gulf Livestock 1 first went missing, SAFE held a virtual international protest to ban live export from New Zealand. The protest ran for 65 minutes, to represent the 65 thousand cows who were exported from New Zealand between January and September 2020. Over 1,000 people from around NZ and the world joined us for this protest to demand an end to live export. Together we took hundreds of online actions and #BanLiveExportNZ and #AllEyesOnNZ were trending on Twitter.

If you missed the protest, you can watch the live stream and carry out all of the online actions listed below. People power will end this cruel trade in animals.


Protest Actions


Action 1

Add the Ban Live Export frame to your Facebook profile:


Action 2

Click to Tweet at New Zealand leaders:


Action 3

Leave a polite comment on Jacinda Ardern’s Facebook and Instagram channels asking her to ban live export. Click on these two links to take you to her Facebook and Instagram profiles:



Here are three suggested comments for you to choose from. Just click on Jacinda’s recent Facebook and Instagram posts and leave your comment.

Option 1
Jacinda, you’ve shown so much kindness to our team of 5 million. Will you extend this kindness to our animals too, by permanently banning the cruel live export trade? #BanLiveExportNZ #AllEyesonNZ

Option 2
New Zealand’s international reputation is at stake if you continue to allow live exports to countries with lower animal welfare standards. For the sake of our animals, our people and our international reputation, please permanently ban live export. #BanLiveExportNZ #AllEyesonNZ

Option 3
What will it take to ban cruel and dangerous live export? The recent Gulf Livestock 1 disaster shows live export is not worth the risk to human and non-human lives. The world is watching and waiting for you to do the right thing. Please permanently ban live export. #BanLiveExportNZ #AllEyesonNZ


Take Action

Tell the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern that caring people, like you, want to see an end to all live export


Key points you can make:

  • Live exports simply aren’t worth the risks. The Gulf Livestock 1 tragedy should not have happened. Live export destroys lives.
  • Time and time again we have seen animals suffering in disasters like this. Just last year, over 14,000 sheep drowned off the coast of Romania. If we don’t put an end to live export it is only a matter of time before another disaster strikes.
  • The little short-term economic gains from live export are not worth the risk to human and animal lives. They are not worth the risk to New Zealand’s reputation.
  • Our elected leaders need to act responsibly and end this cruel trade once and for all.

This email will be sent directly to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Emails are public information, if you would like any of your information witheld please write so in your email.


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