Banning Live Exports Not The Answer

AUSTRALIA - Banning the export of live cattle to South East Asia, specifically Indonesia, will do nothing to address the core issue of animal welfare, Australian Beef Association Chairman Brad Bellinger has said.
calendar icon 2 June 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

“At the same time a ban will dramatically diminish access to quality protein for millions of Indonesians who rely on wet markets for meat. A ban will smash the incomes of Indonesian and Australian farmers and employment in the industries that service the trade,” Mr Bellinger said.

Over the past decade Australia has exported more than five million live cattle to Indonesia worth more than A$2billion. It’s a big industry that harnesses the rangeland resources of northern Australia to provide much needed protein in Indonesia.

Mr Bellinger stated: “Livecorp, Meat and Livestock Australia and the Federal Government have been fully aware of the animal cruelty issues identified on ABC’s 4 Corners for more than a decade. Livecorp and MLA have a mandate from cattle producers and millions of dollars from the compulsory cattle levy to manage and resolve this issue.”

Bureaucrats in these organisations have deliberately chosen to do little or nothing. This is despite repeated warning from activist groups and industry insiders.

MLA’s response to animal welfare concerns has been to commission consultants’ reports and crank–up the public relations to convince the public, the cattle industry and the Federal Government that they were doing a great job. While the public relations was a success for the bureaucrats, millions of cattle died cruelly due to poor facilities and inadequate training.

Banning live exports simply punishes the victims - Indonesian consumers, Indonesian farmers, Australian cattle producers and the service industries that facilitate the trade.

The blame for this institutionalised cruelty lies fairly and squarely with Livecorp and MLA, who have had more than a decade and million of dollars to address the issues, and the Federal Government that licenses their funding and programmes.

Well intentioned members of Parliament, who are fully justified in the outrage they share with Australian cattle producers and the wider public, should address the core problem – the corrupted meat industry bureaucracy – MLA. The cruelty will not stop until such time that MLA, or a successor organisation, is properly constituted to be fully accountable to cattle producers and the Australian public who jointly fund it.

“I know that only fundamental reform will provide a lasting solution to this pressing moral issue and a raft of meat industry marketing and technical problems that have accumulated over the past decade,” Mr Bellinger stated.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.
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