[5 December/Stuff]

A ship destined for China, carrying 3700 live cattle, departed the Port of Timaru on Wednesday. The Gloucester Express was carrying a mixture of dairy heifers and pure-bred angus breeding cattle according to the Ministry for Primary Industries. An MPI spokesman commented that exporters are required to meet stringent animal welfare standards prior to, and during, a voyage. The shipment was arranged by Austrex, an Australia firm, and it noted that there were two stockmen on the ship to look after the livestock and ensure their health and welfare. Austrex estimates the on board value to be about $6 million. SAFE has called for the banning of all exports of live animals from New Zealand.