Live export ship targeted by animal rights protesters

Warning: This video contains graphic images that may disturb some people.

Protestors are planning to descend on Port Taranaki on Friday to protest the live export of animals.

The live export ship Yangtze Fortune arrived on Thursday to collect 3800 cows for export to China.

SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation) spokesperson Will Appelbe says once these animals leave our shores, we have no control over their welfare.

"Many of these animals will spend their lives in concrete factory farms before they're sent to slaughter. That's too cruel to be legal in New Zealand."

The group is concerned the industry is rushing to export as many animals as possible while the live export trade is still under review.

Appelbe says the Yangtze Fortune is an ex-cargo ship and so is not designed to carry animals, and their treatment is too cruel to be legal.

"The sea journey can be quite stressful for these animals, then once the animals arrive in these countries, we have no control over what conditions they're going to be kept in."

Submissions on the Ministry for Primary Industries' review, which was ordered by Minister for Agriculture Damien O'Connor in June last year, closed last week. 

"The continued export of cattle may be a risk to New Zealand's brand," he said in June. "The time has come to rethink this area and consider whether it’s something that fits within our values as a country."

There are four options the Government is considering:

  • a total ban
  • a conditional ban, requiring MPI to approve exports
  • new regulations to enhance the existing regime, without any bans
  • 'continuous improvement', but without any changes to the law.

The protesters will gather at 12:30pm on Friday.