A spokesperson for the government told this site it has encountered numerous examples of livestock that had been taken from farms to slaughterhouses when in fact the animals were to weak for the journey.
It is unclear if the unfit animals that arrived at abattoirs where either slaughtered or sent back.
“About 28 million animals are processed annually, and we deal with about 1,000 examples of animals arriving at processing plants that don’t meet NZ’s high standards for animal transport,” said a MPI spokesperson.
Animal welfare ‘responsibility’
These comments come after GlobalMeatNews spoke to the government to find out if transporting unfit animals for slaughter had become a problem. The fact this came up is because MPI launched ‘Fit for Transport’, a mobile app designed to help the supply chain ensure the livestock transported nationwide is healthy enough to travel.
“In NZ, animal welfare is everyone’s responsibility and we take the approach of continuous improvement to improving animal welfare outcomes,” added the MPI spokesperson.
“Through education, and through technology like our fit for transport app, we hope to see continuous improvements in the conditions of animals arriving at processing plants each year.”
NZ has a strict code of conduct governing the domestic transport of livestock and enhancements to a host of statutory rules are still under development, according to MPI.
Two regulations were brought into force on 1 August 2016 under the Animal Welfare Act. These regulations cover the treatment and transportation of young calves, and make changes to the rules about exporting live animals.
The country has strict rules on the export of live animals and such activity can only be done if a business secures approval from the director-general of MPI, currently Martyn Dunne. No applications for the export of live animals have been made or approved in the country since 2007.