New Zealand sells a lot of different products to overseas countries (exports). Live export is the sale of live animals to overseas buyers. The journey that these animals take is usually crowded and frightening. Animals can feel motion sickness and some will die from the stress of the journey.
Over 2.8 million live animals were exported in 2018. Baby chicks are New Zealand’s largest live animal export. When the chicks hatch they are put into boxes and flown overseas. Thousands of chicks will go in one shipment. Cows (sometimes pregnant) are sent on huge ships in crowded pens. Their journey can take many weeks. Fish, sheep, goats, deer, llamas, alpacas and pigs are also shipped overseas.
New Zealand law recognises that animals have feelings (known as sentience). Our animal welfare laws state how animals should and should not be treated. Many countries that New Zealand exports to do not have the same welfare standards as we do. They may be housed in cruel conditions or slaughtered in ways we would consider illegal. This means the animals’ suffering is likely to continue once they arrive at their overseas destination.
A petition calling for an end to live exports in New Zealand was delivered to Parliament by SAFE back in October 2019. The petition held over 30,000 signatures from kind people who were concerned about the welfare of animals being sent overseas.
“We can’t just overlook their suffering. In order to create the sort of society that we want to live in, that I want to live in, we need to be kind to everyone, including animals.“
Lillian and Zara – Animal Squad members
Send a letter to the Government telling them that you want all live exports banned for good (because you believe in being kind to all animals).
Education is a big part of ending live export as many people do not even know this type of export exists! Share what you have learnt by making a library display about live exports and why it should be banned.
Another way to educate your classmates and teacher is to choose to do your next school project on live export. You could do anything from presenting a speech to writing a story.