October 19, 2011


Australia's cattle exports to Indonesia nearly 110,000


Since live exports resumed, nearly 110,000 Australian cattle are estimated to have been sent to Indonesia during the three months, according to the federal government.


Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig says this shows how quickly the industry has become accustomed to new animal welfare rules but also how strong Indonesian demand remains.


Just below 100,000 head of cattle left Australia after the live export ban was lifted on July 6, even though the first shipment didn't leave until a month later in August.


With another 10,000 animals due to be exported by the end of this week, the total number of exports to date is over six digits.


"The fact the number of cattle exported to Indonesia looks set to exceed 100,000 since the lifting of the temporary suspension is a testament to the hard work of industry and of government," Senator Ludwig said in a statement on Tuesday.


"This is an important, legitimate and valuable industry for Australia and one the government is committed to supporting."


Senator Ludwig said his department has so far approved 26 notices of export intentions, lodged after the government implemented new animal welfare conditions.


The new regime was sparked by video footage showing cattle being mistreated in Indonesian abattoirs, and now leaves responsibility for animal welfare to exporters rather than the government.


They have to ensure animals are well treated along the whole supply chain, starting with departure, through to the feed lots and right until the point of slaughter.


Overall, live export numbers are still expected to take a big dive for 2011-12, with the total number estimated at 450,000.


Australia sent 456,000 head of cattle to Indonesia alone in the previous year, about 62% of the total export figure.

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