Government suspends live trade to Indonesia but must not stop there
Humane Society International (HSI) welcomes the decision by Federal Minister for Agriculture, Senator Joe Ludwig, for finally taking a stand against the atrocious cruelty being inflicted on Australian cattle and suspending all live exports to Indonesia, but cautions that this must only be seen as the first step towards Australia enacting a total ban.
While the immediate suspension on exports to Indonesia will ensure no additional animals leave Australia for the time being, thousands of Australian cattle are currently awaiting slaughter in Indonesian abattoirs and the Government must act immediately to ensure that the welfare of these animals is assured. “It is clear from the incredible public outcry on this issue that Australian’s will not stand for one more animal being subjected to the cruelty and torture that was evident in the Four Corners Program”. said HSI’s Senior Program Manager, Rebecca Keeble, “Qualified Government inspectors must be sent to Indonesia as a matter of urgency to ensure the welfare of the Australian cattle that remain in Indonesia”.
Only hours after the Minister announced the ban, there are already calls that the Australian industry will be threatened with collapse, and that Indonesia will go elsewhere for their beef. However the Australian Government and Cattle industry must not be held to ransom by such threats and the process of ensuring animal welfare standards are at acceptable levels must not be rushed.
“There is no need for the Australian cattle industry to suffer financially in the long term – prohibiting the live export of Australian cattle won’t stop Indonesia or other import countries demands for beef, but will provide the opportunity for Australia to become a world leader in best practice animal welfare, as well as offer the enormous potential to create jobs here at home for humane slaughter and export of frozen meat products” Ms Keeble said.
HSI congratulates the Federal Members of Parliament from all sides of politics for taking such a vocal stand on this issue and would encourage them to call for a conscience vote on this issue. We call on all Members of Parliament to fully support the proposed legislation, submitted by Independent MP Andrew Wilkie and Senator Nick Xenophon and by the Australian Greens, which will be up for discussion later this month.
“Only a total ban on the export of all live animals from Australia to any country will ensure that the level of animal welfare that the Australian public clearly demands will be achieved, and HSI calls on all MPs to support the passage of these important pieces of legislation” Ms Keeble stated.