Friday, August 12, 2011

Live Cattle Exports from Australia Recommence

Yes, it is true!

This week live cattle exports to Indonesia resumed. Elders was the first company to move cattle, about 3000, followed by a shipment from another operator.

While there have been changes to procedures to allow traceability, the actual processes in the shipping, feedlot and in the abattoir were already satisfactory. No changes needed.

This whole exercise has been a crazy affair.

The latest twist has been implications that an Indonesian abattoir worker in the cruelty videos, was actually paid to be cruel to the animals. This accusation was made in a Senate hearing this week, but it is still a definite foggy area.

If you know Indonesia, then one would not be surprised if it was true. Payment, small to large, to achieve an outcome is VERY common. It would not be a surprise at all. No doubt the whole issue will be muddy, but the story at the Senate hearing did seem plausible. The people involved in the video are indignant about the accusation, saying it is not true........this has some time to run yet!

Whatever happens, it is highly unlikely that numbers of stock exported will be anywhere near the predicted numbers in early 2011, possibly less than 25% of the numbers expected. But really, it is almost an unknown!

The latest theme has been Senator Xenophen [who is vehemently opposed to live export of cattle] writing to major supermarkets urging them to buy braham cattle meat for their hamburgers. Still a problem, Senator........they have to move stock around 3 -4000kms to market at high cost, and possibly could lose money doing so.

This issue will no doubt move off the media agenda, but the issue is still a live problem, impacting horribly on most if not all in the northern cattle pastoral industry. And will do so for some years.

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