December 10, 2019


Breeding cattle from Australia exported to Indonesia found dead or malnourished


An Australian Government funded review of a consignment exporting more than 2,500 cattle to Indonesia in late 2018 found about 72 of these animals dead by June 2019, reported ABC Australia.


The cattle were purchased by the Indonesian Government under the 2018 Indonesian Breeder Cattle Import Programme. The Australian breeding cattle were given to small holder farms in Java and Sumatra as development aid.


Australia's breeding cattle have a lifespan of up to 20 years.


LiveCorp, an Australian research and development body conducted a review of the programme. According to its six-page summary report on the country's Department of Agriculture website, Indonesian farmers and cooperatives require additional support and training to manage livestock health and welfare problems.


The industry believes that the industry's 800 million AUD (~US$546 million; 1 AUD = US$0.68) live cattle trade to Indonesia will be negatively affected if welfare issues become worse.


Mark Harvey-Sutton, chief executive of the Australian Livestock Exporters' Council said the industry voiced concern on animal welfare conditions in Indonesia when the 2018 Indonesian Breeder Cattle Import Programme was being discussed. He added that changes need to be made for future cattle exports under the programme.


According to ABC Australia, Harvey-Sutton had viewed the LiveCorp report in full, which reported livestock were in various health conditions. 300 Australian cattle under the programme were categorised under Condition Score 1, the worst rating on the industry scale.


Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie, speaking to the ABC said she had discussed with her department regarding animal welfare for future breeder trade. However, Australia cannot dictate how livestock should be raised in Indonesia, and likewise.


She added that both nations have a strong relationship with regard to red meat trade.


An Agriculture Department spokesman said the department does not have any regulatory role once the breeder cattle have left Australia. While the monitoring programme had ended in July 2019, there have been talks with the Indonesian industry to propose assistance where possible.


-  ABC Australia