June 24, 2011


Australia to track cattle exports to Indonesia



Before the live export trade between Australia and Indonesia can recommence, a system to track cattle exported from the former to the latter is one of two key parts of a system that needs to be implemented, according to Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Thursday (Jun 23).


Inspecting standards at abattoirs in Indonesia is a vital part in getting the trade up and running, but so is having the ability to track cattle, she told parliament.


"We need a tracking system that works from Australia through the journey, into the feedlots and into the abattoirs where animals are ultimately dealt with and consequently, we can then ensure that Australian cattle are ending up in the abattoirs where the standards are appropriate," she told parliament in answer to a question about the trade.


The Australian government suspended the trade earlier this month for up to six months following public outrage stemming from televised images of Australian cattle subjected to brutal treatment before being slaughtered in Indonesia.


Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig previously said the suspension will remain in place until there are sufficient animal welfare safeguards and assurances in place along the supply chain to the point of slaughter.


Australia and Indonesia agreed to establish standards for the live cattle trade based on international animal welfare guidelines, but the details of these have yet to be negotiated between the two countries.

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