Wellington: New Zealand announced Wednesday it is banning the export of live cows and other farm animals by sea due to welfare concerns.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said the ban would take up to two years to be fully enforced to give those who had invested in the business a chance to transition out.
The country temporarily suspended such exports last year after a ship carrying 5,800 cattle that was bound for China sank in stormy weather near Japan, killing more than 40 crew members and the animals. Officials had already begun a review of live exports the previous year.
O’Connor said the risk to the country’s reputation outweighed any financial gains because there was no way to safeguard the welfare of the animals once they left New Zealand’s shores.