7 Jul 2011

Live cattle export ban lifted

5:06 am on 7 July 2011

The federal government in Australia has removed a month-long ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia.

The ban was imposed after ABC TV showed cattle being beaten, whipped and maimed before they were slaughtered in some Indonesian abattoirs.

Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said there will be strict conditions on new export permits.

He said export control orders have been revised to require ranchers to apply for permits to demonstrate they can meet animal welfare requirements.

Senator Ludwig said each abattoir in Indonesia will be independently audited and will have to meet animal welfare standards.

Cattle producers had warned that the ban was costing jobs and pushing down domestic beef prices.

The Indonesian government described the scrapping of the ban as ''great news''.

Deputy agriculture minister Bayu Krisnamurthi said Jakarta is now rethinking its reliance on live cattle imports in the wake of the ban.

He said Indonesia's recent experiences with Australia show that depending on food imports is risky.

Other comment

Meanwhile, the Greens have criticised the decision.

''We do not believe Indonesia's ready to reopen the trade,'' said Senator Rachel Siewert.

''The government cannot guarantee animal welfare standards.''

Elders says it will take months for trade to fully bounce back. But chief executive Malcolm Jackman says the company should be able to start resuming trade by next month.