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THURSDAY, June 9, 2011 ON THE LAND -- 1
A LIVE-EXPORT freeze by the federal
government is expected to flood the
domestic market with extra cattle and
soften commodity prices.
Bipartisan agreement over pre-
ventative measures to curb animal
cruelty broke down yesterday after the
federal government placed a blanket
ban on live exports to Indonesia.
Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig
ordered a complete suspension of
all livestock exports to Indonesia
for the purposes of slaughter, a ban
that could remain in place for up to
The trade freeze came after footage
of cruelty to cattle in an Indonesian
slaughterhouse was exposed on ABC
television program Four Corners less
than a fortnight ago.
Coalition MPs have claimed the
federal government's actions would
hurt the beef industry as well as
fraying diplomatic relations with
The decision came after meet-
ings between the Australian and
Indonesian governments on Tuesday
Wannon MP Dan Tehan said the
blanket ban would result in more
cattle being processed in the domestic
market and therefore reduce the price
of beef across Australia.
He said the federal government
had penalised abattoirs adhering
to Australian guidelines and would
place an unnecessary impost on many
"What they've done essentially is
penalised abattoirs that are operating
appropriately as well as those that
were not," Mr Tehan said.
"It's a knee-jerk reaction which
will do nothing to improve animal
welfare. This decision could also
have an indirect effect on cattle sold
on the domestic market by pushing
up the numbers available for sale
and decreasing the overall price
Senator Ludwig said the Indonesian
export ban would remain in place
until new safeguards were established
for the trade.
He said an independent reviewer
would be appointed to undertake a
complete supply chain review of the
live export trade for all markets.
"This suspension will be in place
until the government establishes
sufficient safeguards to ensure there
is verifiable and transparent supply
chain assurance up to and includ-
ing the point of slaughter for every
consignment that leaves Australia,"
Senator Ludwig said.
"A sustainable live cattle export
industry must be built on the abil-
ity to safeguard the welfare of the
animals. The trade to Indonesia will
only recommence when we are certain
industry is able to comply with that
supply chain assurance."
The Agriculture Minister said the
Indonesian and Australian govern-
ments had agreed to collaborate
with processors in order to improve
abattoir practices and conditions.
"Experts from both countries will
work together to identify abattoirs
that adhere to good practices that
could form part of an approved supply
chain, and to identify those that still
need to be improved," he said.
National Party Senate leader
Barnaby Joyce said the government
should have enforced Australia's cat-
tle identification scheme to ensure
all stock were treated humanely
in Indonesia. He said the suspen-
sion of trade was diplomatically
email@example.com Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig:
suspended live exports.
By ALEX SINNOTTCHEAP MEAT
Live-export freeze forecast to hit payments to beef farmers
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