Thursday, 12 May 2022 09:55

Labour MPs support will kill live export

Written by  David Anderson
Live exporters believe the Government was swayed more by protestors than industry in its move to soon ban the practice. Live exporters believe the Government was swayed more by protestors than industry in its move to soon ban the practice.

Labour's 'Rural' MPs have towed the party line and backed Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor's move to wind-up NZ's $280 million-a-year live export industry.

Both National and ACT rejected the plan to ban the export of live animals.

This follows a divided select committee report on whether the bill should be passed or not. O'Connor drew up the bill to ban live animal export by sea following the sinking of the Gulf Livestock 1 in 2020, which saw the deaths of 41 sailors and 6,000 cattle. It failed to win the full support of Parliament's Primary Production Select Committee.

"The Primary Production Committee has examined the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill," its report said. "The votes were tied, and we were unable to agree on whether the bill should be passed.

However, with the Government's support, it is expected the bill will pass through Parliament - where Labour has an outright majority.

National and ACT registered opposing views to their Labour colleagues over the bill, mainly related to its economic impact.

"It is the view of National Party committee members the projected economic loss caused by such a ban has been grossly underestimated, and that rural communities across New Zealand will be detrimentally affected by both job and revenue loss," they wrote in its dissenting view.

National suggested that the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) should instead "take a leadership role in setting and maintaining world-leading compliance standards".

ACT member Mark Cameron agreed, saying New Zealand should develop a "'gold standard' approach for our livestock export industry".

Labour members conceded that there were economic impacts of the legislation, saying the committee was advised "livestock export contributes $261 million to New Zealand's economy annually".

 They were also not swayed by the views of submitter who warned the ban could lead to an increase in the annual slaughter of 1.8 million bobby calves, which could be sent overseas.

"The slaughter of bobby calves is wasteful compared to their use as breeding stock overseas," the report says. "Submitters said that the ban could potentially add around 130,000 more."

There were also differing views on whether banning live exports would improve New Zealand's reputation.

In fact, some submitters argued that a ban could be reputationally damaging to NZ.

"Banning livestock export would undermine New Zealand's reputation as a well-managed agricultural economy and transparent trading partner," the report said.

The bill will now go back to Parliament where it is expected to be passed, then the ban would be put in place in April next year.

More like this

Trans-Tasman ag ministers zoom in on biosecurity

When New Zealand’s Agriculture, Biosecurity and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor met with his new Australian counterpart yesterday, the subject of biosecurity was top of their agenda.

Lincoln students connect with key players

Forming connections with future employers and celebrating academic achievement were on the menu for 160 students at Lincoln University’s inaugural Food and Fibre Awards and Networking Dinner earlier this week.

$1m remains unpaid

OPINION: A group of New Zealand farmers who collectively sold $1 million worth of cattle to a live export company in March are still waiting to be paid.

UK FTA makes progress

NZ's free trade deal with the United Kingdom is a step closer, with the legislation enacting the deal having its first reading in Parliament in late July.

National

Machinery & Products

New disc cultivator launched

Väderstad has introduced a new disc cultivator – the Carrier XT 425-625 – featuring rotating disc axles, that optimizes results…

JD unlocks its digital system

As a long-term advocate of digital technology, John Deere has taken the route of mass data capture, rather than concentrating…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Fruitful change?

OPINION: Your canine crusader notes that meat company Silver Fern Farms has undergone quite a refresh over the last few…

All for show?

OPINION: The Hound notes that Fonterra is cashing in on the curent government's largesse with taxpayer money.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter