“Labour has produced yet another headache for New Zealand farmers tonight, voting to ban livestock exports as of April 2023, despite official advice telling them not to,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“The Regulatory Impact Statement from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) shows the ban would hurt our rural communities economically, damage New Zealand’s reputation internationally, be yet another slap in the face for rural communities following a raft of new regulations and that the practice should have been allowed to continue with careful management.

The advice from MPI says “Live animal exports provide a boost to New Zealand's economy, rural communities...Any move to prohibit the export of livestock would cause an economic loss to these groups and make recovery from COVID-19 more difficult in the rural communities where livestock exports provide an additional source of income. For some individual businesses that impact is likely to be significant.”

It goes on to say “MPI's view is that reputational impacts are real, but difficult to quantify...These risks should be taken seriously but can be managed through enhancing the regulatory framework.”

“Acknowledging this advice from MPI officials, alongside the Mike Heron QC report and submissions to Select Committee, it was obvious the best course of action to ensure animal welfare standards were upheld and this revenue wasn’t lost was to continue the trade under an improved regulatory ‘Gold Standard’.

“But as usual with this Government when ideology collides with logic it’s normally the former that wins, in this case it will be farmers that bear the consequences.

“The value of New Zealand's livestock exports was $261.5 million for the year ending December 2020, can we really afford to throw that away for no reason?

“Despite the overwhelming evidence that the ban was a bad idea, Damien O’Connor has pushed ahead. Farmers kept the economy going through Covid. All it gets in return from Labour are policies that punish them.”

Press Contact

[email protected]