A group of farmers who collectively sold $1 million worth of cattle to a live export company in March are reported by 1News NZ to be still unpaid. Farmers from around New Zealand sold cattle to Waikato-based Genetic Development (NZ) Exports Limited Partnership (GDEX LP). The 12,300 head of cattle were destined for China at the end of April this year, however the shipment failed after the livestock carrier, MV Al Kuwait, built in 2016, broke down enroute to New Zealand to collect the animals. and was replaced with a smaller ship. At least one farmer who had cattle returned to him, reported animal welfare issues in the returned animals.
This trade always has been a risky business for animals and a risky business for farmers.
However, this current situation in NZ also demonstrates that having a phase-out period with a “Continuous Improvement Programme” still has potential for, and possibly results in, serious welfare problems. Phaseout periods should always be as short as possible.