3 August 2015: What do parrots in Brazil, earthworms in the Pacific and chickens in Bhutan have in common? They were all delivered from New Zealand. Almost five million live animals were sent overseas last year, according to MPI, and that’s not counting the insects.
Live animal export is big business: according to Customs data, showing more than $363 million worth of cargo was flown or shipped overseas last year. By far the biggest animal export was chickens – comprising some 98% of all live animal exports. A mix of day-old chicks and fertilised eggs were exported. Big buyers for the 4.7million chickens sent overseas were New Caledonia,Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, Solomon Islands and Thailand.
The next most exported animal was cows, with 85,732 cows shipped last year. All went to China, save two that were sent to Norfolk Island. The number of cows being exported has nearly tripled in the past three years, from 30,499 in 2011, according to Customs. More than $200m worth of live dairy cows were exported last year. No cattle, sheep, deer or goats for slaughter are exported from NZ, under law. Among the other animals exported in 2014 were 200 llamas and alpacas, 258 birds, 100 wallabies, and 10kg of earthworms. More than $4.5 million worth of bees were also sent abroad, most of which ended up in Canada. Source: stuff.co.nz