July 7, 2011
Australia removes live cattle exports ban to Indonesia
Australia has lifted a termination on shipments of live cattle to Indonesia after stating new stipulations that attend to concerns about animal cruelty, according to Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig on Wednesday (Jul 6).
Australia halted its AUD300 million-a-year (US$322.3 million) cattle trade to Indonesia a month ago following public outrage over televised images of Australian cattle being maltreated before slaughter, raising concerns over earnings in the sector and the livelihood of farmers, as well as cutting off a food source for Indonesia.
Ludwig said in a statement that revised export control orders have opened the way for exports to resume.
"These new orders allow the export of live cattle only where animals can be managed through supply chains that meet international standards," he said.
The new conditions will require exporters to trace cattle from properties, onto vessels, into feedlots and into abattoirs that meet agreed international standards.
Ludwig said the reforms would provide the live cattle export industry with a sustainable long term future.
"We will continue to work closely with industry to ensure the welfare of Australian cattle remains at the heart of this trade," he said.
Indonesia Deputy Agriculture Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi said the Indonesian government has not received any official statement from the Australian government on lifting the export ban.
"I think that is the best effort from the Australian government to protect their cattle industry," he said.
Krisnamurthi said a joint Australian and Indonesian verification team would continue evaluating conditions in Indonesian abattoirs, and educate them about our benchmark of international animal welfare.
Malcolm Jackman, Chief Executive of Australian rural services company Elders Ltd. (ELD.AU), welcomed the lifting of the export ban, but cautioned that it would take time to get cattle moving again.
"Obviously there is a lot of compliance work to be done," he said.
"But it is good news nonetheless."
Earlier Wednesday, Elders warned that the export suspension would reduce its earnings in the fiscal year ending September 30 by AUD$4.4-7.3 million (US$4.7-7.8 million).