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Friday, June 10, 2011

Aussie's Halt Export of Live Cattle To Indonesia . . .

Jersey girl ~ photo, db Nelson


The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Live cattle ban to stay

Phillip Coorey, Tom Allard 
June 8, 2011


THE federal government has decided to suspend the export of all live cattle to Indonesia, following a public outcry and a threatened backbench revolt.

The Agriculture Minister, Joe Ludwig, signed the order last night and said the ban would stay in place until safeguards had been adopted that would ensure the proper treatment of the beasts along the whole supply chain.

The decision to suspend the $318 million-a-year-industry was taken by cabinet on Monday night and has the potential to upset the Indonesians, the cattle industry and the federal opposition, all of which have argued against a blanket ban.

The Prime Minster, Julia Gillard, said the government would work with the Indonesians and the cattle industry to ''bring about major change'' to the handling of cattle in Indonesian slaughterhouses.

Ms Gillard met industry representatives in Darwin last night.

The Herald further reports:
The outcry leading to the suspension of cattle exports to Indonesia began on Monday last week when the ABC's Four Corners broadcast footage showing brutal slaughtering methods and mistreatment inside Indonesian abattoirs.

The organization behind the footage is 'Animals Australia'. Animals Australia spokeswoman Lyn White traveled to Indonesia's abattoirs and within 5 minutes she knew she had enough footage to halt live cattle exports from Australia to Indonesia. She was right.

This ban is likely to stay in place for 6 months. 

The Herald explains:
But, even as the ban is introduced, there are about 100,000 Australian cattle in Indonesia being fattened before slaughter.
It is inevitable some will end up in abattoirs that are substandard and prone to use cruel techniques to kill the beasts.

A recent audit by the government and Meat & Livestock Australia inspectors found more than three-quarters of the abattoirs in Indonesia that process Australian cattle don't adhere to world standards for animal welfare and only a handful are modern ''world class'' facilities.

How can we be assured that cattle will be treated humanely in Indonesia or anywhere else in the world when our own humane standards fall short?  Live animal export is a very lucrative business with outspoken, well-funded support. 

Without access to video footage and photographs we have no knowledge of the severe abuse animals raised for food endure before and during slaughter. The industry is keenly aware of this fact and lobbies hard to put laws in place to stop the flow in information to the public. How important is your right to know?

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