Feedlot knows value of happy cattle

09 Aug, 2012 04:00 AM
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Some of the feedlots in Indonesia have been described as five star resorts for cattle and it is easy to see why.
Some of the feedlots in Indonesia have been described as five star resorts for cattle and it is easy to see why.

This article is from a special feature on Indonesian live export.

FOLLOWING the journey from Darwin on the MV Ocean Swagman, 5200 of the cattle made the journey to two feedlots in Lampung.

One was the Juang Jaya (JJAA) Lampung feedlot and the other was the Santori feedlot in Lampung. In what had been described by industry representatives as a “five star resort for cattle”, it was easy to see why.

Santori feedlot manager Zamzam Qodarrudin summed up what they where trying to do when he said it was in their best interest to keep the cattle happy.

And that means good animal welfare.

Despite the issues of the last 18 months, it has never been clearer about what the industry’s priority was but Mr Qodarrudin said it has always been their aim.

When asked about the live cattle export ban and what he thought about it he said simply “it was not fair.” Mr Qodarrudin said animal welfare issues were only in a few isolated spots and not all abattoirs.

He agreed the footage (on Four Corners) was terrible but said it was only a small minority. He said the live export ban cost the feedlot a lot of money, not because of upgrades in animal welfare, because the feedlot was already up to standard and above, but because of the lost opportunity the feedlot had.

Mr Qodarrudin was another Indonesian, along with PT Santosa Agrindo head of procurement Charles Mok, who doesn’t believe the country’s aim to be self sufficient in 2014 is realistic.

He said the numbers which the Indonesian Government was working on were not correct.

“It is not realistic because in the total head of cattle there is the young cattle, there is the pregnant cattle and there is no proper knowing of how many are male and female, so the number is right but the calculation for their self sufficiency is not,” Mr Qodarrudin said.

He said it was now going to be even harder to reach self sufficiency with recent abattoir reports showing some are killing heifers, even if they are able to breed.

“So that is the supporting information that we cannot reach self sufficiency by 2014 in my opinion,” he said.

Prior to the ban last year, Mr Qodarrudin said the feedlot had planned to buy more cattle but since the ban it was not the same.

Mr Qodarrudin did admit that while nothing had changed at their feedlot it has brought another level in competition between feedlots as they strive for the best animal welfare.

“In our position the consumer will select our competitor if our competitor is good with animal welfare and the traceability is ok,” he said.

“But the non-benefit is that a small feedlot cannot do the same animal welfare because the cost is too high.”

The Santori feedlot is one of the leading feedlots in Indonesia and was ready to deal with any situation including being equipped with an emergency abattoir if anything happened to the cattle.

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