'Conditional prohibition' on live cattle exports to remain after ban lifted next month

Live cattle exports will be allowed to resume in a month at MPI's discretion, pending the results of an independent review.

Cows on a farm (file picture). Source:

The exports were temporarily suspended after a ship carrying 43 passengers, including two New Zealanders, and nearly 6000 cattle sank in a typhoon off Japan earlier this month.

Today the Ministry of Primary Industries confirmed the ban will be lifted on October 24, but a "conditional prohibition" will remain in place until the end of November.

"During this period the Director-General of MPI may consider the export of livestock by sea subject to any conditions deemed necessary following the Heron review," a spokesperson told 1 NEWS today.

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The independent review is being led by Mike Heron QC, with the results not expected until after the election.

"No individual livestock export shipments will be considered until the Heron review has been delivered, considered and required changes implemented," MPI says.

The Gulf Livestock 1 left Napier for China in early September, with 43 crew members on board and thousands of cattle.

Two crew members have been rescued alive, but the others are missing and feared dead, including two New Zealanders.