December 29, 2011


Australian cattle exports fall short of target by 105,000



Australian live cattle exports to Indonesia will fall 105,000 short of the 500,000 target for the year due to the month-long suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia in June.


The latest figures from the Agriculture Department show 394,745 cattle had been sent to Indonesia, with 177,000 shipped since the ban was lifted on July 6.


A further 27,500 cattle have been approved for export in the final week of December, taking the tally to 200,000 since the ban was lifted.


''Reaching the 200,000 mark is great news and is a testament to the hard work of government and industry and of Australia's strong trade ties with Indonesia,'' Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said.


''It is also proof that industry has successfully adopted the new regulatory framework without significantly impacting trade numbers.''


A Walkley Award-winning Four Corners investigation in May uncovered horrific animal abuse in Indonesian abattoirs, prompting public outrage and a suspension of trade by Senator Ludwig.


Federal MPs reported being inundated with a record number of complaints via email, phone calls and letters urging the government to clean up the controversial industry.


In July, a new and more stringent supply chain assurance regime for export was put in place in an attempt to improve animal welfare.


There was disappointment from some Labour backbenchers, the Greens and animal activists that the new rules did not make the pre-stunning of animals compulsory.


Last week, Indonesia announced it was slashing import quotas for live cattle to 283,000.

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