Another live export ship has come and gone from Napier Port, despite a call to halt the live export trade while the Government reviews laws.

The Ministry for Primary Industries approved the export of about 3300 cattle to China from Napier on the ship Ganado Express. It left at about noon on Thursday.

SAFE campaigns manager Marianne Macdonald said she was disappointed MPI and Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor were still allowing these shipments to occur.

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In total nearly 15,000 cattle have left Napier on live export ships this year, with seven animals dying on the voyages.

An MPI spokesperson said they followed every procedure and safety measure to ensure the stock travelled safe and healthy.

"This approval was granted by our vets after loading was completed this morning.

"Our vets conducted a thorough inspection of the vessel to ensure our stringent animal welfare conditions on board are met," they said.

"We introduced strengthened requirements earlier this year which state that exporters are required to provide a report on the condition of the animals at 30 days after their arrival at their destination."

O'Connor said there appeared to be some confusion about what was happening with live animal exports at the moment.

He said while the review takes place, current laws remain in place.

"MPI are still receiving applications and assessing them and – if they meet the current legal criteria - approving them. They have to follow the law."


MPI is currently working with industry, trading partners and other stakeholders to develop options to be included in a discussions paper.

"A draft cabinet paper is expected to be completed by December this year, which will be provided to the Minister for cross-party consultation," O'Connor said.

Any decisions to come out of the review will not be implemented until December 2020.