New Zealand Halts Live Export After Ship Carrying Nearly 6,000 Cows Capsizes

Last week, a ship carrying 43 crew members and nearly 6,000 cows capsized off the coast of Japan. So far, only two crew members have been rescued, and images have been shared of at least a dozen dead cows floating in the water. In response, the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries announced it would temporarily halt applications for live cattle export.

While New Zealand currently restricts live export for slaughter, animals can still be sent abroad for breeding. A spokesperson for New Zealand animal welfare group SAFE said the cows on the capsized ship were most likely pregnant. According to ministry data, nearly 40,000 cattle have been exported for breeding just this year.

Live export has long been under fire around the world for its immense cruelty. Every year, hundreds of thousands of animals are crammed onto ships and transported from farms to slaughterhouses in faraway countries. In addition to the stress of the unfamiliar environment, noise, and constant motion of the ship, animals are forced to endure weeks of crowded conditions, lying in their own excrement.

Mercy For Animals recently exposed the horrors of live export. The footage reveals steers loaded onto ships with electric prods before traveling for weeks across the Atlantic Ocean. After an agonizing journey, animals are taken to a slaughterhouse where they are brutally killed. Footage shows workers cornering animals, slashing their legs, and stabbing them while fully conscious.

Live export causes tremendous suffering, and it needs to end now. Our petition asking the Brazilian government to ban live animal export in the country currently has over 450,000 signatures. You can help by taking action at