All Australians would be at least aware of the recent controversy about exporting live cattle to Indonesia.
After the television broadcast of very serious animal cruelty in some abattoirs in that country, there was a massive public outcry throughout Australia and the immediate banning of the trade by the Commonwealth Government.
This quick decision has cost farmers, particularly in Northern Australia, millions of dollars in loss of sales.
The ban has since been lifted as a result of the report produced by the Farmer review, which was set up by the government to review the situation of live exports and particularly the treatment in Indonesia.
The Government has accepted all the recommendations of the review for both domestic and export slaughter to ensure that livestock are treated at least internationally accepted welfare standards.
Live animal exporters will now be required to;
- ensure animals will be handled and processed at or better than the internationally accepted standards follow requirements for animal welfare established by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE);
- have control of the movement of animals within their supply chain;
- trace or account for animals through the supply chain;
- conduct independent verification and performance audits of their supply chains
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig said “the new framework will be phased in and will be implemented in stages with 75 per cent of trade covered by February and for all trade by the end of 2012.”
Although the changes are major and will meet most of the demands of all those involved in the submissions and discussions, there is one significant standard that has not been included in the Report.
The Review has not required that exported livestock be stunned before slaughter, and this has some groups seriously concerned.