Northern Territory Opposes Live Cattle Export Ban

Northern Territory Opposes Live Cattle Export Ban

Northern Territory Opposition Leader Terry Mills

Ban Cruelty Not Live Exports

Victor P Taffa

The Labor Government’s ban on live cattle exports has the potential to kill off the Territory’s cattle industry.

Shocking images of animal cruelty has panicked Labor into an ill considered, short sighted plan that will cost jobs, punch a huge hole in the Territory’s economy and do little to improve animal welfare.

Cattle production is worth in excess of $250 Million a year to the Territory.

“Obviously, the images of animal cruelty as seen on the Four Corners program, are a concern to us all and work needs to be done to help improve slaughter practices in Indonesian abattoirs, but this can’t be done by dealing ourselves out of the game.” Opposition Leader Terry Mills said today.

“The Chief Minister should jump on the first plane to Jakarta to work with Indonesians to drive change and fight for the jobs of Territory cattle producers and related businesses.”

“Instead, the Territory Government is silent and defers to Julia Gillard at a time when this major industry needs real help.”

“This is an economic, animal welfare and diplomatic crisis that needs to be fixed now, not in weeks or months ahead.” Mr. Mills said.

“The Labor Government should have representatives in Indonesia now, helping to accredit, foster and instil best practice, as was the case when the Country Liberals were in power.”

“Action needs to be taken now. What happens to cattle held in export yards now? Overstocking contributed to the Mataranka scandal and this could be the case on properties across the Territory if live trade ceases.” Mr. Mills said.

“It’s time to re-think this ridiculous ban and promptly resume trade to the 25 or so suitable facilities in Indonesia. That will reward good practice and encourage others to improve.”

“Prime Minister Gillard is in the Territory and needs to tell the cattle industry and those who depend on it how she plans to compensate them.” Mr. Mills said.

“A wait of six months is excessive. Time is critical and improvements can be made in a matter of days, not months.”

“Labor should immediately draw up a rescue plan that includes help to pastoralists for transport and feed costs, emergency bank relief and financial counselling for those affected, until a resolution is achieved.” Mr. Mills said.