News reports that the Indonesian Government has committed to banning all live cattle imports from Australia within a few years points to the volatility of the live export trade -- but it signals little reprieve for animals.
Australia's live export industry is already increasing the number of animals sent into other markets including the Middle East, Egypt and Turkey -- where, like Indonesia, animals are permitted to be brutally slaughtered while fully conscious.
Animals Australia Executive Director Glenys Oogjes said:
"The horrendous practices documented inside Indonesian slaughterhouses by Animals Australia earlier this year sparked an enormous public outcry calling for an end to the live export trade. For the very first time, the Australian public saw a glimpse of hidden practices that were known to the live export industry for more than a decade.
"Despite public opposition, the live export industry continues to expand its trade into new markets with the full knowledge that the routine slaughter practices in importing countries fall well below the standards expected by the Australian community.
"The Gillard Government's new rules for live export permits, which are being rolled out to all markets over the next 12 months, do not require animals to be stunned before slaughter. As a result, millions of cattle and sheep will not only still face the gruelling sea voyage to foreign countries, those that survive will still risk brutal slaughter without stunning in overseas abattoirs.
"Indonesia's decision to dramatically reduce cattle imports from Australia demonstrates again that this is a high risk industry not only for animals, but for those rural communities that have become too economically reliant upon it.
"It is unconscionable that after the Australian public has so clearly voiced their outrage at the live export of cattle to Indonesia this year, that the Gillard Government will continue support the expansion of the trade in live animals to other countries where similar atrocities occur. The only way that animals can be protected from the cruelty of live export is for the Australian Government to ban it", concluded Ms Oogjes.
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