Australia ends live export ban


The ban on live cattle trade between Australia and Indonesia has been lifted after Australian officials were assured that Indonesian slaughtering practices would improve.


Thierry Zoccolan

Live cattle trade will resume between Australia and Indonesia after a ban on exports — in place for a month, after footage was aired on Australian TV showing graphic images of Australian cattle being slaughtered in Indonesian abattoirs — was lifted.

Australia’s Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said he was confident Indonesian abattoirs could now meet Australian standards.

New guidelines have been introduced which will put the onus on Australian exporters to prove that they can meet "supply chain assurances."

(From GlobalPost in Australia: Australian Chinese are asking for a fair crack of the whip.)

These assurances cover all processes from the paddock to the abattoir, according to ABC Online.

Senator Ludwig says permits to export will only be issues to suppliers when they prove that they can meet the new conditions.

In a statement published by AAP, Senator Ludwig said exporters would have to collect and make public data on the cattle they took to market, including where animals were fattened, how they were transported and where they were slaughtered.

Australia’s cattle industry has been thrown into chaos in recent weeks after the government suspended live cattle export to Indonesia for up to six months on June 7, after animal welfare concerns.

The trade estimated at $340 million a year, was halted until Indonesia implemented animal welfare safe guards.

Farmers and workers in the cattle industry — including many indigenous Australians — protested the halting of trade, saying it would lead to a loss of jobs and the closing of some of Australia’s largest family-run cattle stations.

Live exporter Wellard Rural Exports has welcomed the decision by the Federal Government.

"Many abattoirs in Indonesia had already invested in modern facilities to optimize animal welfare outcomes, however the changes required to meet the traceability and verification standards are substantial," a media release from Willard’s reproduced on ABC Online reads.

"Wellard will submit a Notice of Intent to Export cattle to Indonesia to the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service once it is confident those standards can be met by the company and its commercial partners in Indonesia."