“The Government is forging ahead with its ideological ban on live exports this evening, despite all evidence proving the policy is costly and unnecessary,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson and Ruawai Dairy Farmer Mark Cameron.

“The Regulatory Impact Statement from 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.”

“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?

“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 evidence against banning live exports is overwhelming, but Labour loves to ban things and it banned live exports without thinking about the consequences, it was an entirely ideological decision.

“Farmers deserve better than a ban and tax government who is out of touch with reality. ACT would export Labour’s ideas from government and put rural communities first by overturning this costly and ideological policy.”