New Zealand announces world-first live export ban
A Meat and Dairy Industries Article from

April 2021

Cows and calves will be safe from live export cruelty thanks to New Zealand's decision to bring the country's live export trade to an end.


In incredible global progress for animals, New Zealand's government has announced that they will end the live export of animals by sea, including the export of mother cows from the dairy industry.

The decision will spare hundreds of thousands of cows and their unborn calves from the horrors of live export and was fueled by the tireless advocacy of advocates at SAFE For Animals NZ and tens of thousands of Animals Australia supporters who jumped into action on behalf of these animals.

New Zealand banned the export of animals for slaughter in 2008 but a legal loophole meant that hundreds of thousands of vulnerable pregnant dairy cows could still be exported.

The trade not only condemned them to lives of deprivation and suffering in destination countries but subjected them to risky and lengthy sea journeys. These ever-present dangers made global headlines last year with the tragic sinking of the Gulf Livestock 1, which saw thousands of dairy cows and 41 human crew members perish at sea.

"The fact is, once animals leave New Zealand by sea we have very limited ability to ensure their wellbeing ... that is an unacceptable risk to New Zealand's reputation. We must stay ahead of the curve in a world where animal welfare is under increasing scrutiny."
- New Zealand Agriculture Minister Damien O'Conner

This is the inherent risk of live export for any animal, from any country. And it's why we will continue as fervently as ever to convince our government and others around the world to replicate New Zealand's decision and prioritise the wellbeing of animals over commercial interests.

Thanks to this courageous and compassionate leadership, New Zealand's legacy for animals has again set a precedent for the rest of the world to live up to.

We remain ever committed to freeing animals from the shackles of this industry and from the conditioned world-view that their only value is in the meat or milk that their bodies produce. 

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