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Consider people’s wants


For the last few days, New Zealand has been talking about the ethics of livestock exports, but from what I see one important point is being left out. Muslim countries don't and won't buy cut meat from non-Muslim countries.

In the 2000's, this cost millions of dollars to Turkish exporters who didn't understand the sensitivities of the Turkish public. At that time, to help the Turkish public get access to cheaper meat, some exporters made a deal with Argentina involving high quality Angus meat.

That meat ended up in the market for a quarter of the price of Turkish products. And most of it became animal food or ended up in the rubbish. Back then, very few people had understood why the target population wasn't buying this superb meat. I learned the answer a few years later when I was talking to a Muslim friend.

She said: “Who knows whether those animals were halal or not . . .” (The killing of the animal has to be done in a specific way and in general, the public don't trust the meat that comes from other countries).

So when you are asking the question as to whether New Zealand should sell livestock or not, you should also take into consideration that the Middle East countries would want livestock. (Remember the scandal of the sheep export to Saudi Arabia which ended up with a ban. And don't forget that New Zealand used to sell 500,000 sheep per year to Saudi Arabia in the 80's).

Meat companies don't welcome live animal trade, they see it as a competitor, but to me, this shows how little they understand the countries they want to do business with.

Zeynep Simpson

Leave a Reply to Alistar McKellow Cancel reply

  1. A Daily Reader says:

    From what I understand animals can only be exported these days from NZ for “breeding” purposes only, not slaughter.
    Most meat works here comply with halal so the meat can be sold to those countries with no problems.
    Either way, live export should be stopped. It is terribly cruel, the journey is horrendous and who knows what conditions they will end up being kept in at the other end. They are usually sold to countries with minimal, if any, animal welfare laws.
    The whole thing is just incredibly sad and unnecessary.

  2. Alistar McKellow says:

    As a veterinarian involved in preparing sheep for export in the early 1970s I have followed this trade. Nothing has changed but the worsening of animal welfare as profit has imposed its terror on the animals exported to conditions that would not be acceptable for these animals in NZ.
    It is not only the transportation of these animals but also their treatment at destination.
    Pressure was applied to politicians to stop this trade for good reasons. However the lure of the dollar saw these promises broken.
    By all means share our technology to meet demand but there comes a point where ethics matter as much as money.

    Alistar McKellow, veterinarian
    BVSc BA (Religious Studies/Philosophy)

  3. PJ Reed says:

    Halal butchers were specially employed to ensure the meat going to countries that required it processed in a specific way was suitable for their market. Just like countries that require particular health practices, the New Zealand meat industry ensures the product is of the required standard. Using excuses such as noted above shows little respect for animal welfare and allows the product to be landed in a state that is unsuitable for general consumption. A trip to a freezing works in a truck is bad enough, but a trip in a boat across the globe leaves the animals in extremely poor condition. Live exports such as the recent debacle have no place in New Zealand’s export practices.