New Zealand on Wednesday banned the export of livestock by sea from April 2023, citing animal welfare concerns in a decision that will affect major trading partners including Australia and China.
The ban had been well flagged and comes after a ship that left its shores with nearly 6,000 cows and 43 crew members capsized in 2020 off Japan.
Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor said the legislation banning the export would protect New Zealand's reputation as a global leader in animal welfare standards.
"This bill reinforces and builds on New Zealand's reputation as a safe and ethical producer of high-quality food products," he said, adding that the impact on exports would be low.
Live exports by sea account for about 0.2% of New Zealand's primary sector export revenue, worth about NZ$60 million (US$33.58 million) a year from 2015 to 2019.
The export of live animals by air freight is still allowed.