“The Government’s own data show the Live Export industry has grown 55 per cent over the last two years to become a $400 million industry, so why are they killing it off?” Asks ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“The response to a Written Parliamentary Question from Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor states: “I am advised that the value of livestock exports in 2021 was approximately $340 million, up from $261 million in 2020. Based on the total number of cattle exported to date in 2022, and estimates for the remainder of the year, the latest predicted value of livestock exports for 2022 is $406 million.”

“More than ever New Zealand needs the additional revenue, but Labour is effectively waving goodbye as $400m per annum fades into the distance.

“The Government knew this would be the case. But they forged ahead anyway. Advice from MPI stated “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.”

“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.

“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.”

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Mark Cameron