Government bans Australian live exports
Story Added : 08th June 2011
The decision is in direct response to images of animal cruelty aired on ABC television last week, which showed a number of Indonesian abattoirs were mistreating Australian cattle.
Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig slapped the ban on farmers yesterday, saying an independent review will investigate the entire live export supply chain to overseas markets.
"This suspension will be in place until the Government establishes sufficient safeguards to ensure there is verifiable and transparent supply chain assurance up to and including the point of slaughter for every consignment that leaves Australia,” Mr Ludwig said.
"The trade to Indonesia will only recommence when we are certain industry is able to comply with that supply chain assurance."
Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) said it understands the Government’s move, but is concerned about the significant economic impact the action will have on cattle producers and rural communities.
"The welfare of our animals is paramount. Our message is - no accreditation, no cattle,” MLA chairman Don Heatley said.
MLA called for the rapid introduction of stunning and an ongoing monitoring program to ensure Australian cattle are processed only through facilities that meet international welfare standards.
Opposition agriculture spokesman Warren Truss criticised the ban, saying the suspension sends the “wrong message”.
“The total suspension of the live cattle trade to Indonesia will do nothing to help the animal welfare cause,” he said.
Minister Truss said the best message the Government could send to processers in Indonesia is that it will only do business with those who meet Australia’s expectations on animal care and treatment.