Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Australia suspends live cattle trade to Indonesia

Australian cows are loaded onto a truck after arriving at the Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta on May 31, 2011. Australia has suspended its live cattle trade with Indonesia. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Malaysian Bloggers : SYDNEY - AUSTRALIA late on Tuesday suspended its A$330 million (S$433.9 million) a year live cattle trade with Indonesia after gruesome televised images exposed slaughterhouse practices there.

The ban would last until proper treatment of the animals was assured, said Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig, who signed the order, according to The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. The government had temporarily suspended exports to 11 slaughterhouses after the footage aired nationally last week.

Mr Ludwig's office said he would hold a press conference to outline the trade suspension later on Wednesday. Cattle sales agent Tim McHugh said the suspension would have a huge economic impact on cattle ranches across northern Australia, where there are no export meat slaughterhouses.

'This is criminal to think that people can manipulate markets the way they have using emotive issues,' Mr McHugh told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio on Wednesday.

'The reality is that it shouldn't be our responsibility with regard to foreign countries buying our product and what they do with it once it's in their hands,' he added.

ABC television on May 30 broadcast footage from Indonesian slaughterhouses that showed steers being whipped and taking minutes to die after their throats were slit repeatedly. Australian slaughterhouses stun the animals first. -- AP

No comments: