Saturday, May 15, 2021
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HomePoliticalNZVA Accepts Live Export Ban Is Consistent With Animal Welfare Science

NZVA Accepts Live Export Ban Is Consistent With Animal Welfare Science


The New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) is not
surprised by the government’s decision to ban live exports
by sea and believes the two- year transition period is
pragmatic for businesses in the sector.

We are not
surprised by the decision and believe it is consistent with
advances in animal welfare science that acknowledges animal
sentience – meaning animals have feelings, both positive and
negative, just like humans, says the association’s chief
veterinary officer, Helen Beattie.

“Given the Minister
of Agriculture, Hon. Damien O’Connor’s very clear
message that the welfare of animals during the voyage cannot
be assured, the NZVA is accepting of the decision – animal
welfare matters, and as veterinarians we have a special duty
to do what we can to ensure their welfare.”

NZVA’s
policy on export of animals including livestock that was
developed prior to the decision and shared with those
undertaking both the MPI and Heron reviews. It states that
the NZVA opposes the export of any live animal unless
throughout the lifetime of the animal, its welfare is
adequately managed according to the requirements of the
Animal Welfare Act 1999.

This policy applies to all
stages of live animal export and transport – assembly of
animals, the transport, the situation animals are in at
their destination and their slaughter.

“We are however
mindful of the economic impact that this ban will have for
those involved in the trade, including some of our
members’ clients,” says Kevin Bryant, NZVA chief
executive.

“We understand the rationale behind the
government’s decision, which is to ensure high standards
of welfare for New Zealand livestock; and we accept that it
is more difficult to guarantee all the physical and mental
needs of our animals are met once they leave New Zealand
shores.”

We trust that the Government has given this
issue due deliberation during the extensive consultation
process involving evaluation of public submissions,
examination of industry information and scientific evidence,
and the review of the findings from the Heron report on
Maritime Safety and animal
welfare.”

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