Esther Taunton15:33, Sep 03 2020
Live animal exports are a significant income earner.
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Questions are being asked after a ship carrying close to 6000 cattle and 43 crew members was reported missing off the coast of Japan on Wednesday.
Two New Zealanders are believed to be aboard.
The ship, Gulf Livestock 1, left Napier on August 14, bound for Tangshan, China.
It reportedly sent a distress signal from waters about 185 kilometres off the coast of Amami Oshima Island, in southwestern Japan, on Wednesday morning.
* Two New Zealanders onboard ship missing in Japanese region hit by typhoon
* Activists say they'll continue live export protests until the practice stops
* Protesters set to gather near Port Taranaki against live animal export
While animal rights group Safe says the incident raises questions about why New Zealand continues to export live animals, others are wondering why 6000 cattle were at sea in the first place.