In Agriculture

Queensland Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Queensland Andrew Cripps

Australia Integral To Indonesia Adopting Humane Slaughter Practices

Victor P Taffa

Australia must play a leading role in promoting humane slaughter practices in Indonesia.

Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Queensland Andrew Cripps told State Parliament this week Australia and the cattle industry needed to move quickly to redress the cruelty issues exposed by the ABC’s Four Corners program.

“The Liberal National Party (LNP) deplores cruelty to animals and we supported the decision to suspend the supply of Australian cattle to the particular abattoirs using these inhumane practices.”

“But we believe Australia is best placed to promote humane practices in Indonesian abattoirs and those improvements are integral to our live export trade.” Mr. Cripps said.

“The efforts of the Australian live cattle export industry have led to the introduction of stunning in some abattoirs. There is a long way to go to see the wider use of stunning in Indonesia, but there would not have been any progress had the Australian industry not been involved.”

“No other country exporting live cattle spends money raised by levies on domestic producers to educate their customer in the humane treatment of animals.” Mr. Cripps said.

“The only reason the Australian live export industry has any influence is because it’s a preferred supplier due to the quality of the product. The LNP believes the live cattle export industry and the Federal Government needs to continue to make the promotion and adoption of stunning a priority in Indonesian abattoirs.”

Mr. Cripps said the live export of cattle was a major economic driver in North Queensland.

“The ban has serious ramifications on cattle producers, employees on properties, transport operators and businesses supplying and servicing the industry.”

He said Federal Agriculture Minister Ludwig was wrong in forcing the cattle industry to compensate itself by directing its industry body to use funds accumulated from voluntary levies collected for marketing and promotion and redistribute them to affected producers.

“The Gillard Government should accept responsibility for its decision and compensate cattle producers for the loss of this market. The Gillard Government must also announce and outline an immediate plan to re-establish a controlled trade with Indonesia that makes cattle identifiable and traceable from the property boundary in Australia to the abattoir in Indonesia.” Mr. Cripps told Parliament.

“There are abattoirs in Indonesia that meet Australia’s expectations and there are producers in North Queensland capable of monitoring the movement of their cattle through the supply chain.”

The extent of the Bligh Government’s response has been to set up a task force, supposedly to identify alternative markets. It is very disappointing that the Bligh Government has made plan B its priority. Rather than admit defeat, the Bligh Government should stand up for North Queensland cattle producers and demand that the Gillard Government re-open a controlled export trade to Indonesia.

“There are too many livelihoods at risk in this industry for this to be the best the Gillard and Bligh governments can offer. The live cattle export trade is a significant part of North Queensland’s economy.” Mr. Cripps said.

“The impact of an ongoing export ban will be enormous. The livelihoods of everyone working in this industry are in jeopardy. Premier Bligh and the state Minister for Agriculture should be fighting for the livelihoods of these Queenslanders.” Mr. Cripps said.

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