Minister for Agriculture, Joe Ludwig, has this evening announced the resumption of the trade of cattle to Indonesia — a move that will see thousands of Australian animals again shipped to a country without laws to protect them and with a ‘supply chain assurance’ that he himself would not guarantee would protect Australian animals from cruelty.
As part of the government’s ‘supply chain assurance’ Ludwig explained that the Australian government has accepted OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) standards for treatment of Australian cattle in Indonesia. These ‘International standards’ are a bare minimum guide to animal welfare requirements for developing countries and fall well below animal welfare standards in Australia.
This decision to reopen the trade to Indonesia has been made despite Australian officials being refused access to independently assess any Indonesian slaughterhouses. New ‘safeguards’ put in place by the Gillard government do not include government officials checking compliance, but rather revert to a self-regulatory model that again entrusts the welfare of Australian animals in the hands of the live export industry — an industry that has known about the abuses in Indonesia for at least a decade and has proven time and time again that they can’t be trusted.
In accepting OIE guidelines the Australian government is permitting Australian animals to continue to be killed without stunning. After witnessing the suffering of conscious cattle, thrashing and bellowing as their throats are cut on Four Corners, the Australian public will never accept such cruelty.