NZ ewe shipment part of Mexican plan to add 250,000 sheep a year to its flock

Terry Sim, July 10, 2015

NEW Zealand’s latest shipment of about 45,000 young joined ewes to Mexico is part of a plan to lift the country’s flock to more than 2 million by 2018.

The Minister of Agriculture, Enrique Martínez y Martínez said the importation would repopulate and improve the genetic makeup of the country’s flocks.

In a statement from the Embassy of Mexico the after the arrival of the shipment, the minister said the pregnant ewes were of high genetic quality, and 250 thousand sheep will be added on an annual basis, so that by 2018 it is expected that the country’s flock will number more than 2 million.

The sheep arrived at the Mexican port of Mazatlán in the State of Mexico on June 26 and underwent health checks by 22 officials from the National Service for Health, Safety and Food Quality (Senasica), from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA).

The Minister of Agriculture, Enrique Martínez y Martínez and the Governor of the State of Mexico, Eruviel Avila, handed over 35 thousand sheep to local producers. The remainder were delivered to producers in the State of Hidalgo, the statement said.

State of Mexico has largest flock of 1.3 million

Minister Martínez y Martínez said that with the arrival of the latest shipment, the State of Mexico is confirmed as the country’s principal producer with 1.3 million sheep.

The embassy said the investment of 177.8 million pesos (about NZ$17 million) for this project was met by SAGARPA, the Government of the State of Mexico and the producers, who obtained credit at a rate of 7 percent from the National Finances for Livestock, Rural, Forestry and Fisheries Development.

With this massive importation of sheep, livestock trade relations between Mexico and New Zealand were further strengthened, as was demonstrated by the widespread recognition on the part of Mexican producers of the high genetic quality that New Zealand producers are achieving and which will now enrich Mexican sheep breeding, the embassy said.

South Canterbury-based agency Peter Walsh and Associates sourced the joined ewe lambs, which were shipped on the livestock carrier Nada from PrimePort Timaru with about 3300 cattle. It is believed NZ producers were paid NZ$120-$130 for the 8-10 month-old ewe lambs.

The export of the breeding sheep to Mexico was opposed by animal rights groups. After losses during the shipment of sheep to Saudia Arabia, the live export of sheep from NZ for slaughter was suspended in 2003. In 2007 the government introduced a Customs Export Prohibition Order (CEPO) on all livestock for slaughter.

Source: Embassy of Mexico.



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  1. Clara Martinez, June 13, 2016

    Will love to have more information about exporting to mexico and prices..

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