Thursday, 12 May 2022 10:55

Live export experts ignored

Written by  David Anderson
Nicola Grigg accuses both MPI and Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor of deliberately ignoring submitters opposing the ban. Nicola Grigg accuses both MPI and Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor of deliberately ignoring submitters opposing the ban.

National's animal welfare spokesperson Nicola Grigg claims the Government completely ignored compelling evidence from cattle breeders, vets and export industry experts in its push to ban live animal shipments.

Grigg's claim follows Parliament's recently completed Primary Production Select Committee inquiry into the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, which will ban the export of live animals by sea from April next year.

"It was a foregone conclusion," Grigg told Rural News.

"The MPI [Ministry for Primary Industries] report states 'given the Government has made its clear commitment to the ban being in place by 30 April 2023, the recommendations in this report are intended to give effect to this decision... the Bill should progress as it was presented to the House at the First Reading'."

Grigg says this made an absolute mockery of the select committee process and the inquiry and accuses both MPI and Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor of deliberately ignoring submitters opposing the ban.

"To me that stinks," she adds. "Clearly it was a predetermined outcome and there was no intention to listen to any evidence, any science, any experience from international jurisdictions - making it a total waste of time to all those people who put hours and hours into submissions."

Grigg says many of those submitters that were ignored included livestock agents, importers/exporters and vets. However, she concedes that there was also evidence from those who had been on live shipments and who had witnessed horrific events.

"Don't get me wrong, we certainly heard evidence of substandard practice and no fair-minded New Zealander will accept or tolerate that and nor will [National]."

Grigg says that is why National was keen for the Government to open its mind to a legislated standard - what she describes as a "gold standard" - for live exports rather than an outright ban.

"This would set standards like built-for-purpose ships with feed, water and air conditioning systems," she says. "As well as maximum stocking densities, vet and stock handler training, better reporting, exporter licensing and an importer quality assurance programme."

She says a licensing regime like this would ensure New Zealand exporters adopt the highest animal welfare standards in the world.

"Wouldn't it be great if NZ was world leading in this space and set the standards that the rest of the world had to follow?"

Grigg, who is also National's spokesperson for Rural Communities, believes the projected economic loss caused by the live export ban has been grossly underestimated.

"National asked for more robust financial implications of the ban, but this was never provided."

She says rural communities across New Zealand will be adversely affected in both job and revenue loss from the ban.

More like this

Crazy

OPINION: Your canine crusader was truly impressed by the almost unanimous support given by politicians of all stripes in Parliament to the recent passing of legislation for the NZ/EU free trade deal.

Featured

Viability of farming questioned

People are starting to question the viability of sheep and beef farming as profitability in that sector falls to one of its all-time lows, according to Federated Farmers board member and Gisborne sheep and beef farm, Toby Williams.

Zespri's net profit down $60m

Kiwifruit exporter and marketer Zespri has reported a $60 million drop in net profit, mainly driven by reduced licence revenue from lower pricing per hectare than 2022/23.

UAE FTA welcome news

The dairy and red meat sectors have welcomed news that New Zealand will begin formal negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Home detention for animal neglect

A Taranaki dairy farmer received four-month home detention and was disqualified from overseeing of animals for 18 months over a lack of feed and welfare which led to some animals being euthanised.

National

$160 billion cargo shipment deal

New Zealand’s major primary industry exporters have secured shipping capability to export $160 billion worth of products over the next…

Play by the rules

Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the Government is always working to ensure that our food exporters are treated…

Machinery & Products

GPS in control

In a move that will make harvesting operations easier, particularly in odd-shaped paddocks, Kuhn has announced that GPS section control…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

True colours

OPINION: The watermelon party (AKA the Greens) try to portray themselves as an upright, self-righteous, caring bunch of woke, bicycle-riding…

Peace at last?

OPINION: Good news for hunters as Forest & Bird have "paused" legal action against the Fiordland Wapiti Foundation and agreed…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter