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INDONESIAN ENQUIRY INTO SLAUGHTERHOUSE PRACTICES ORDERED BY INDONESIAN PRESIDENT

Indonesia orders probe

into slaughterhouses

BY CHRIS JOHNSON CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT
11 Jun, 2011 12:00 AM
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered yesterday an investigation of abattoirs as he sought to ensure meat supplies after Australia suspended live cattle exports because of animal cruelty concerns.”We have to highly respect animal welfare. The agriculture minister and health minister must visit the abattoirs,” he said.Australia suspended all live cattle exports to Indonesia for up to six months on Wednesday after a public outcry when shocking images of mistreatment in the country’s slaughterhouses were broadcast on television.

The footage broadcast by the ABC included kicking, hitting, gouging of eyes and breaking of tails of some animals as Indonesian workers attempted to force them into slaughter boxes.

Mr Yudhoyono also said the country needed to find a swift solution to ensure meat supplies before important Islamic holidays come up.

”What we need to do is to find a suitable solution for the short and long term … if we fail to take appropriate measures, it could affect domestic meat supply,” he said.

He ordered his ministers to act immediately to prevent a possible increase in meat prices as the mainly Muslim country will celebrate the holy month of Ramadan in July.

”We have to make a maximum effort to ensure our domestic supply,” he said, adding that the Australian ban should serve as a challenge to boost the country’s efforts to become self-sufficient in meat supplies.

Australian Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said earlier the live cattle trade, worth $318 million a year, would not start again until safeguards were in place to ensure animal welfare in Indonesia.

Sixty per cent of Australia’s lucrative live cattle trade goes to Indonesia, with about half a million animals sent each year.

Meanwhile, ACT Liberal senator Gary Humphries appears at odds with his party leader, Tony Abbott, over the suspension of the exports.

In separate media interviews yesterday, the two Liberals presented opposing views about the ban.

At the same time, Mr Ludwig avoided committing to an immediate inquiry into Meat and Livestock Australia’s knowledge of any abuse.

Mr Abbott appeared on Channel Nine’s Today yesterday and condemned the blanket suspension because of the financial impact it could have on Australian producers and exporters.

”If I was the prime minister I would sort this out because it’s absolutely wrong to send Australian cattle to centres that don’t have proper animal welfare measures in place, but there’s no point destroying a perfectly good export business while there are centres that we could send cattle to that have these measures in place,” he said.

”The fact of the matter is it should never have come to this and we should not destroy this important industry because it ought to be possible to keep exporting to centres that do treat animals humanely while absolutely refusing to send our cattle to centres that don’t.” But shortly after those comments, Senator Humphries told ABC local radio that he supported the Government’s decision and said Mr Ludwig had no other option.

”I’m in favour of being tough about this,” Senator Humphries said.

”I think we should ban the trade unless a satisfactory way can be found of providing cattle to those abattoirs in Indonesia or anywhere else for that matter which can demonstrate acceptable standards of slaughter.

”In terms of freezing trade, I think it’s the only thing he could do.”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


June 12th, 2011
Topic: ANIMALS & STOCK, Cattle, IMPORT EXPORT, INVESTIGATIONS Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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