Economy Livestock

New Zealand Bans Livestock Export, Prioritizing Animal Welfare

New Zealand Livestock Export

New Zealand has officially banned the export of live animals overseas to protect animal welfare during long journeys to countries such as China. The bill was passed last year and takes effect as announced by the Minister of Agriculture today. Farmers are granted a two-year transition period to adapt their operations to the new regulations.

The livestock export market was highly profitable for New Zealand farmers. According to Reuters, the total value of live animal exports in 2022 reached $322.78 million. However, the government prioritized animal welfare concerns, leading to the bill’s passing. The decision came after an incident where 6,000 cattle and 41 sailors were lost during a storm while transporting the animals to trading partners.

While animal welfare organizations have welcomed the move, farmers are left uncertain about their business’s future. The ban’s impact on New Zealand’s agricultural sector remains to be seen as farmers adapt to the changing landscape and seek alternative sources of income.

The New Zealand government is considering introducing a bill to tax livestock emissions as part of its broader strategy to lower methane emissions in the country. Livestock farming, mainly cattle and sheep, have been identified as a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions due to the methane released during their digestive process, commonly known as “burps.” The proposed tax encourages farmers to adopt more sustainable practices, such as breeding low-emission animals or implementing innovative feeding strategies that reduce methane production. This legislative initiative reflects New Zealand’s commitment to addressing climate change and reducing its carbon footprint while promoting environmentally responsible and sustainable agricultural practices.

Photo by Monika Kubala on Unsplash 


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