Compensation Demands For Market Closure

AUSTRALIA - Some livestock groups across Australia are disappointed with the governments decision to suspend all live exports to Australia.
calendar icon 8 June 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

Vicotria Federated Farmers' Livestock Group President Chris Nixon said that while no farmer condoned the inhumane treatment of livestock, the six month ban was a kneejerk reaction by a government responding to public backlash that paid no consideration to its impact on Australian livestock producers.

“Like every other beef producer in this country, I was disgusted by the footage capturing the inhumane treatment of our animals in Indonesia,” Mr Nixon said.

“However, this decision will have a large and immediate impact on the incomes of Northern Australian cattle producers, many of whom are family farmers. The VFF Livestock Group hopes the government will consider compensation to counter the losses they are likely to face.

Mr Bellinger called upon the Minister to set up the mechanisms to allow the $40 million Industry Reserve Fund to be used to compensate Northern cattle producers who face bankruptcy over the closure of the live cattle trade to Indonesia.

ABA Chairman Brad Bellinger has said that Northern beef producers are on the verge of bankruptcy, due to an extended flooding monsoon, and now the loss of one of Australia's largest market.

“With Northern Territory cattle producers’ number one market closed it is likely that their cattle will end up in the southern markets. This will bring the impact of the Indonesian market closure to Victorian cattle producers, as it is possible that the additional cattle will depress prices," said Mr Nixon.

“Rather than placing a blanket ban on our trade agreements to Indonesia, the Federal Government should have supported the plan put forward by industry to see Australian cattle slaughtered only in approved abattoirs, which would be forced to meet the strictest of animal welfare standards.

“In the steps of the supply chain leading to the sale of our produce in Indonesia, where we have Australians overseeing the process, including transporting the cattle from paddock to port, shipping out of our shores, and holding in Indonesia prior to slaughter, we have the highest of welfare standards in place.

“Instead of removing Australia’s presence altogether, we should be working with the Indonesian Government to help in providing training to its abattoirs and to offer our expertise throughout the final steps of the supply chain to ensure no animal faces the brutality that we have seen in recent weeks,” Mr Nixon concluded.

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