News / Blog

Worlds Largest Livestock Carrier Ships Dairy Animals To China
August 11, 2016

The world’s largest, purpose-built livestock carrier, the Ocean Drover arrived in Timaru on August 5 to collect a shipment of dairy heifers bound for China. ┬áThe shipment is a Fonterra initiative to supply its China dairy farms with livestock.

Half of the shipment (3500 cows) was loaded at Timaru and the remainder in Napier for a total shipment of approximately 8000 cows.

Fonterra livestock portfolio director Fiona Carrick said the shipment was “one of our normal, scheduled animal shipments to support our farming operations in China.”

“Since we started our farming operations in 2007, our preference has been to export animals from New Zealand and Australia so we can maintain our closed herd system and ensure the optimum condition of the animals on our farms there.

“We are exporting in-calf heifers. These animals are specifically bred to perform well in the China farming environment and produce high-quality milk.

“It’s a team effort to manage these shipments to our high standards of safety and welfare and we’d like to acknowledge the support of both ports at Napier and Timaru.”

New rules, announced on July 28, that will give the Ministry for Primary Industries greater visibility of the welfare of animals being exported from New Zealand will come into force on 25 August 2016.

The changes will give MPI’s Director-General more powers to require reports on the welfare of animals during their journey and for up to 30 days after their arrival in the importing country.

An MPI spokesperson said the dairy heifers are mated and pregnant, but all are confirmed as not in the last trimester (last three months of pregnancy), as per MPI requirement.

By: Pat Deavoll


Summer 2018