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Live Cattle Exports Drop as Govt Reviews Trade

12 June 2019

NEW ZEALAND - A 25 per cent drop in live exports of breeding cattle in the last five years means a possible ban won't have a big impact on farmers, says an agricultural company involved in the trade.

PGG Wrightson livestock general manager Peter Moore said he was not surprised the trade was being reviewed.

At its peak, 100,000 young dairy animals were exported each year, mainly to China. In the last three to five years this had dropped to 25,000 to 30,000 animals a year.

The Government was considering banning the trade in live cattle exports, worth $30 million last year.

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said a conditional ban on the live export of cattle was one of several options being considered as part of a review of the trade in live animals.

Mr Moore said the trade peaked when China was rebuilding its herds and wanting its own fresh milk supply after the 2008 food safety scandal when infant formula was contaminated with melamine. Fonterra was also exporting stock for its Chinese dairy farms.

"It has been good for farmers, but over time there have been less people relying on that business."

Farmers able to supply the holstein friesian heifers sought by the trade received a premium above the domestic market.

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Source: Stuff.co.nz

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