WA groups support live trade suspension

31 May, 2011 02:28 PM
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FARM lobby groups WAFarmers and the Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) have thrown their support behind the Australian Export Industry’s decision to suspend supply to Indonesian abattoirs.

LiveCorp chief executive Cameron Hall made the initial announcement last week following his first viewing of the footage that was aired to the public on ABC’s Four Corners earlier this week.

WAFarmers Meat Section president Jeff Murray said cruelty to animals was unacceptable and would not be tolerated.

“At the end of the day those practices are unacceptable,” Mr Murray said.

“No Australian producer would condone the footage we saw on Four Corners.

“Some of the things being done to some of those cattle just didn’t make sense.”

Mr Murray said Australia needed to help Indonesia with their animal welfare because Australia needs Indonesia as a future market.

“The biggest thing is from Australia’s point of view is that we have a half a million head of cattle that require somewhere to end up out of Northern Australia,” he said.

“There is no meat works between Townsville to Geraldton.

“If those cattle come back through the southern markets it would just drive the price through the floor and wreck the whole cattle industry.”

WAFarmers president Mike Norton said it has got to the point where it needs to be Government-to-Government action on the issue.

“My first trip to Indonesia was in 1992 and again in 2007,” Mr Norton said.

“We saw all that in Indonesia three years ago and we weren’t happy.

“We told Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) that we probably needed to extradite what they were doing with the restraining boxes and the stun guns.”

“But obviously you are dealing with people with different religious and cultures to us.

“Industry has tried to change to convince those people to change their methodology but hasn’t got the traction that we needed, so it is probably going to have to go Government-to-Government intervention and negotiation.”

PGA president Rob Gillam said he believed the footage was horrific and something needed to be done.

“Most of the producers believed that the Indonesian abattoirs were using the stun guns on the cattle in the restraining boxes,” Mr Gillam said.

“But after last night all the restraining boxes were doing was making it easier to put the rope around the cows’ legs.

“So that will be the call that we will be making at this stage.

“That the cattle which are sent to Indonesia have to be stunned.”

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READER COMMENTS

Anthony
31/05/2011 4:06:44 PM, on Farm Weekly

"FARM lobby groups WAFarmers and the Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) have thrown their support behind the Australian Export Industry’s decision to suspend supply to Indonesian abattoirs." You have to be kidding me! This is like a eunuch taking pride in his chastity! Minister Ludwig has banned Australian cattle from those abbatoirs - lets not get swept up in propaganda from the export industry that they have taken the front foot here. If there had been no footage, if there had been no Four Corners report, if there had been no announcement from politicians - every abbatoir in Indonesia would be mistreating Australian cattle today, tomorrow and the day after. The livestock industry is not only destroying lives of those in domestic processing ... they're lying too.
Rebecca
1/06/2011 9:12:28 AM, on Farm Weekly

I'm sick of hearing the same old lines rolled out. "We're shocked", "We will demand changes"... Enough already!!! Nothing has changed in many years. BAN ALL live export - NOW!! Each day this debate goes on, more animals are having their tendons sliced, eyes gouged and throats slowly sawed in two. It makes me sick that there is any debate on this subject!!! Take action Gillard!!!
WAFarmers
1/06/2011 9:14:32 AM, on Farm Weekly

It's WAFarmers here. In response to Anthony's post denigrating our organisation and PGA for our stance in supporting the ban on supply of Australian cattle to those rogue abattoirs treating the livestock inhumanely - I would like to point out that he seems to be very ill-informed. He seems to think that WAFarmers/PGA have been involved in what has been happening in Indonesia personally, which is not true. Both WAFarmers and PGA play a liaison role between our members (farmers) and Government - however, we do not make Government policies, or have personal involvement in issues like international trade or foreign processing standards. We - and all farmers - were just as shocked and appalled by the Four Corners footage as everybody else (perhaps moreso, as farmers do love their animals) and we certainly had not been given an indication that this horrible treatment was still occurring by the meat industry. We are looking for a positive outcome to this situation just like everybody else - but a sensible outcome that will result in humane treatment of all livestock processed in Indonesia, while also retaining the export trade for the hundreds of farming communities that rely on it.
ac
1/06/2011 9:25:40 AM, on Farm Weekly

Absolutely typical that the live export industry is agreeing that something needs to be done but will never take any serious action. The same thing has been happening for years - it is very apparent that they don't have a damn about their animals - only about their money.
Pange
1/06/2011 10:10:43 AM, on Farm Weekly

I agree with you Anthony. Its pathetic that these arrogant leaders of the MLA and LiveCorp are prattling on as though they knew nothing about what was going on, yet have admitted to having ongoing 'training' for Indonesian slaughter men for the past ten years, you mean to tell us that the footage we saw the other day was 10 years worth of 'improvements' then god help us all. Im sure the Australian people are not stupid enough to believe the lies of these sub-human industry representatives. Ban the live trade and ban it NOW.
Barker
1/06/2011 12:06:21 PM, on Farm Weekly

It seems that Livecorp and the farmers who support this trade, would never have mentioned the barbaric slaughter and handling methods inflicted on Australia's animals in many overseas countries and abattoirs. This cruelty has been ignored for years. Now all this great concern about animal welfare suddenly shown by the cruel industry -- simply because the truth has been exposed -- has caused a major upset to the greedy industry. Until live export is banned, millions of our animals will continue to suffer in this miserable trade.
SandieR
1/06/2011 2:16:08 PM, on Farm Weekly

Something needs to be done about the fact stated in this article that "There is no meat works between Townsville to Geraldton". This vile live animal export trade needs to replaced by a chilled/frozen meat industry so that jobs can be created and kept in Australia and we can control the handling and slaughter of our animals. We have no control over protecting our animals once we send them off shore. The only control we have is whether or not we send them in the first place. Our government needs to know that Australians will not stand for this animal cruelty any longer.
VJ
1/06/2011 2:44:46 PM, on Farm Weekly

This trade needs to be ended permanently - just like NZ. We should be ashamed, and by suspending it only temporarily we can guarantee that the same treatment will continue when the trade is allowed to resume. End it already.
Lynette
1/06/2011 8:39:25 PM, on Farm Weekly

Industry stakeholders were obviously prepared to tolerate such cruelty and carry on with their disgusting trade. It is obvious the industry has no real concern for animal welfare and should never be trusted. Ban live exports once and for all.

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