Australian Cattlemen Propose Limits on Exports to Indonesia

Posted June 6th, 2011 at 4:45 am (UTC-5)
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Australia's cattle industry has advanced a plan to ensure the humane slaughter of livestock in Indonesia in the wake of a television expose that shocked Australian viewers.

The Australian government immediately banned exports of live cattle to 11 Indonesian abattoirs after last week's program, which showed cattle being beaten, gouged and kicked before being killed with repeated cuts to the throat.

Under the industry plan released Monday, cattle would be shipped to only 25 slaughterhouses that already meet international standards set by the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health. That is down from 100 abattoirs at present.

The industry group says it also wants animal welfare officers permanently stationed at the approved slaughterhouses to ensure compliance with the standards.

The industry group, called Meat and Livestock Australia, says the proposal has been submitted to Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig. However, a few members of parliament, including independent and Greens members whose support is vital to the government, are calling for a complete ban on cattle exports to Indonesia.

The trade was valued at $344 million last year.