The following article is from Bloomberg:
By Gemma Daley
Australian ranchers urged the government to lift its ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia as Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig held talks aimed at restarting trade of the animals to the nation’s biggest market.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson and ranchers met today with government ministers to urge the resumption of trade. Australia on June 8 banned live cattle exports to Indonesia for as long as six months after a television program showed animals being mistreated.
“We don’t want to lay off staff but it may come to that,” Emily Brett, who runs 10,000 head of cattle in the Northern Territory, told reporters in Canberra. “We’re hoping live exports will resume as soon as possible so we can get some income.”
The government banned live cattle exports to Indonesia, which buys about 60 percent of Australia’s shipments, after the program caused a public outcry over the treatment of the animals. Indonesian exports contributed A$319 million ($338 million) to the economy in 2010, according to Meat & Livestock Australia.
Ludwig yesterday gave the Indonesian government a draft set of rules on welfare standards, including encouraging but not insisting upon stunning animals before they are killed, a spokesman from his office said.
“I would encourage all participants to put in place supply chain arrangements so we can keep this industry for the longer term,” Ludwig told reporters in Jakarta last night after meeting Indonesia’s agriculture and trade ministers, according to a transcript.
The Greens Party last night introduced a law to parliament banning all live animal exports immediately. That motion has not yet been debated.
Television footage aired May 30 showed cattle in Indonesian slaughterhouses being kicked and whipped. One cow, which broke its leg on the abattoir’s floor, had its tail broken, eyes gouged and water poured in its nostrils. Some cattle were slaughtered with blunt knives, the footage showed.
Organizations including Animals Australia, which provided the abattoir footage to the Australian Broadcasting Corp., and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals called for an immediate stop to the cattle trade to Indonesia and a ban on all live exports, according to a statement on the RSPCA website. Facilities in the video breached international standards, the RSPCA said.
An independent reviewer will be appointed to investigate the export of live cattle and the conditions under which they’re slaughtered, Ludwig has said. The country shipped 148,000 live cattle overseas in the three months to March 31, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Posted by Haylie Shipp