Mills Condemns Cattle Ban

Mills Condemns Cattle Ban

Northern Territory Opposition Leader Terry Mills

Lazy And Dangerous

Victor P Taffa

The Northern Territory Opposition calls upon the Henderson Government to establish a fighting fund that campaigns against Canberra’s decision to ban live beef exports to Indonesia.

Opposition Leader, Terry Mills, said the Territory’s cattle and dependant industries are crying out for leadership from the Chief Minister who, sadly, has been virtually silent on the issue.

“This is a fight to protect the heart and soul of the Northern Territory.” Mr. Mills said.

“We need to take a strong stance against animal cruelty, but this will not be achieved by this ban.”

“Instead of standing silently nodding behind Julia Gillard, Paul Henderson should work with the Opposition and industry to establish a fighting fund to exert maximum pressure on the Commonwealth to reverse this ill-considered and damaging response to animal cruelty in Indonesian abattoirs.” Mr. Mills said.

“The Chief Minister should make it very clear that his loyalties lie with the Northern Territory and its best interests and not the Gillard Government.”

“The ban is lazy, reactionary and has not been properly thought through.” Mr. Mills said.

“The Government should be working with the Indonesian authorities and abattoir operators to improve animal welfare practices in that country, not shutting down supply to a vital overseas market to the detriment of citizens in both countries.”

“Paul Henderson and Primary Industries Minister Kon Vatskalis should be strong-arming the Commonwealth to stop stalling and announce details of an extensive compensation package for the hundreds of Territory business operators and households affected by the bans.”

“Abandoning Indonesia is not the way to bring real change to animal welfare practices in that country.” Mr. Mills said.

“The export ban is a crushing blow to the domestic cattle industry as well as hundreds of Territory families dependent on cattle exports for their livelihoods.”

“It also has the potential to create a whole new set of animal welfare issues right here at home.”

“The ban has the capacity to create a compounding animal welfare crisis in northern Australia. Properties are geared up to supply the Indonesian market and with that market closed it can lead to over stocking, which presents problems feeding that stock, best illustrated by what occurred at Mataranka Station.” Mr. Mills said.

“The export suspension has the potential to create crises like Mataranka right across the Territory.”

“As well, the thousands of animals in holding pens in the Top End will at some point have to be relocated back to pasture which will require being transported potentially thousands of kilometres across the Territory and interstate. This, too, takes a toll on the animals.” Mr. Mills said.

“Already, Country Liberals members are being told of the hardship the ban is causing people dependent on the cattle industry.”

“The Labor Government cannot simply turn a blind eye to the plight of these people. They must take up the fight to Canberra.” Mr. Mills said.