The Suez Canal crisis creates more fears for New Zealand animals – SAFE

The Guardian has reported that 20 live export ships are delayed, due to the stricken container ship Ever Given, which is currently blocking the Suez Canal. If the situation isn’t resolved, thousands of animals could be killed.
SAFE CEO Debra Ashton said it’s the latest in a series of live export crises.
“It’s unforeseen circumstances like this that make live export so risky,” said Ashton. “And it adds to our concerns for the welfare of animals in the live export trade.”
“Disease, bad weather, and shipping delays can all leave animals stranded at sea.”
Thousands of animals were recently stranded in the Mediterranean on board the livestock ships Elbeik and Karim Allah. Both were bound for Libya, but following an onboard outbreak of the viral disease bluetongue, they were refused entry at multiple ports. Many of those animals have now been slaughtered.
“New Zealand had its own live export crisis last year, when the Gulf Livestock 1 sunk off the coast of China,” said Ashton. “It won’t be the last crisis.”
“The Government is currently considering the future of live export in New Zealand. It is imperative that they ban it.”



    Vessels that crowd thousands of sheep and longer journeys raise the risk of disease and stress, said Stevenson of the animal welfare group. Some ships used to transport animals also have been converted from other purposes and aren’t ideally suited, he said. It can be difficult to reverse course after departure due to health rules.

    “I wouldn’t expect just after a two-day delay for a problem to have built up,” said Peter Stevenson, chief policy officer at animal-welfare group Compassion in World Farming, which has called for an end to the live-animal shipments. “It’s as time goes by that the problems get worse. Occasionally, there are real scandals when things go wrong, but it’s a day-to-day horror.”

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