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Emergency stop in Cape Town exposes deception in ‘gold-standard’ promises – SAFE

The distressing emergency stop of the Al Kuwait in Cape Town has revealed a grim spectacle of suffering and neglect. With 19,000 cows aboard, this voyage has laid bare the cruel reality of live export by sea.

Disturbing images have surfaced revealing dead, dying, diseased and distressed cattle, some of which have been lying in their own waste for the past eight days.

SAFE CEO Debra Ashton says the images from the Al Kuwait are deeply troubling and highlight the inherent cruelty of live export by sea.

“These animals are enduring unimaginable suffering, trapped in appalling conditions with no escape. No animal should endure such brutality.”

“This incident serves as a grim reminder of the perils of live export by sea and underscores the urgent need to uphold New Zealand’s ban on such practices,” says Ashton.

Despite New Zealand’s ban on live export coming into effect in April 2023, discussions between government and animal export industry representatives have raised concerns about the potential reintroduction of this cruel trade under the guise of so-called ‘gold standard’ conditions.

It must be noted that the Al Kuwait is a purpose-built vessel, previously used for transporting New Zealand cows by sea.

“Today, we put the question before the Animal Welfare Minister: is this really your idea of good animal welfare?” says Ashton.

“It is well-documented that long-distance and complex transport severely compromises animal welfare. There is no practical and achievable standard, let alone a ‘gold’ standard, for the export of live animals by sea.”

“We cannot allow profit to outweigh compassion. If we truly do not wish to see animals suffer under these horrifying conditions, the ban on live export must remain in place here in Aotearoa.”


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