15 April 2021 – Statement by FOUR PAWS Director of Farm Animals and Nutrition Dr Martina Stephany on the announcement by the New Zealand government on 14 April to ban live animal transports by sea until 2023:
"After the horrific images of the two ships Elbeik and Karim Allah, which were adrift in the Mediterranean Sea for over three months, and the shipping crisis in the Suez Canal, the signals from New Zealand are a ray of hope. FOUR PAWS welcomes the decision to ban live animal transports by sea until 2023. It is a milestone for animal welfare in New Zealand and clearly shows that courageous political decisions are possible to put the welfare of millions of animals above the economic profit of a few companies. We have hope that the EU will follow New Zealand's example and finally ban live animal transports by ship and exports to third countries from the European Union side as well. The New Zealand government's decision is based on reports that are also available to the European Commission. They clearly show that ship transports cause immense animal suffering: Water and feed shortages, overheating, overloading and overall unhygienic conditions where animals are forced to stand close together in their own faeces. These abuses have been known to the EU for years. There are even official reports from the EU Commission that criticise the poor condition of the ships and the lack of supply facilities at ports. So action must finally be taken here to end this (sea)sick system of live animal transports. We need a ban on the transport of live animals by ship, a ban on exports to third countries and we need a ban on long-distance transports over eight hours."
FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. FOUR PAWS’ sustainable campaigns and projects focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, orangutans and elephants – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in twelve countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org