Wednesday, 05 August 2015 11:57

Vets comfy with sheep shipments

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New Zealand has an excellent reputation for animal welfare, which is further strengthened by the passage of the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, according to the NZ Veterinary Association (NZVA).

“This landmark legislation now includes the legal recognition of animal sentience and the veterinary profession has had significant input in shaping this legislation.”

The recent shipment of 50,000 sheep and 3000 cattle as breeding stock to Mexico aboard the ship MV Nada was widely reported in the media and has sparked public debate about animal welfare in relation to livestock exports.

“Transportation of animals is inherently stressful and appropriate safeguards to protect animal welfare are paramount, particularly on long voyages such as these. The veterinary profession believes livestock for export must be managed in accordance with requirements under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 at all times to protect the welfare of animals.

“In our talks with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), including those directly involved in this shipment, we have been reassured that strict protocols were in place for the selection of the animals, the transitioning and conditioning of the animals undertaken prior to shipment, and the supervision and management of their health and welfare while on board.” 

NZVA says it will continue to be in contact with MPI on this matter and to monitor the situation.

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