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Cattle trade re-opens to Indonesia but animal welfare not assured
Photo courtesy of WSPA/HumaneChain
July 7 2011: WSPA has already been inundated with emails and calls from supporters outraged by Minister Ludwig’s announcement last night that live cattle exports to Indonesia will resume. This announcement comes without any robust details on how animal welfare will be enforced and assured.
This is a decision that simply defies logic and WSPA holds grave concerns for the animals that will be slaughtered in Indonesia. Whilst permits will only be granted to live exporters that ‘prove’ the animals can be managed through supply chains that meet international standards, these standards don’t require the use of stunning.
Animals will continue to have their throats slit whilst fully conscious.
Again the Minister has foolishly made the live export industry responsible for caring for our animals, when over and over it has been proven that they cannot be trusted with animal welfare. WSPA Campaign Manager Jessica Borg is left with little choice but to call this a "political decision", coming after Ludwig faced calls for his resignation earlier this week.
WSPA is extremely disappointed that the Minister chose not to wait for the outcome of the animal welfare inquiry before reopening the trade. The Government is switching from one band aid solution to the next, rather than focusing on the long term. With political will, animals could be killed much more humanely within Australia, and a higher value chilled meat product exported internationally, a solution that benefits both the local Australian processing industry and Australian animals.
Additionally, if it was always the case that the trade would be re-opened with barely any reform, why bother putting the farmers through the uncertainty and financial burden? WSPA sincerely hopes that the farmers who have said they want their animals pre-stunned will hold back their animals and find alternatives to live export.
The Government needs to know that this announcement is unacceptable. WSPA is encouraging supporters to call their local MPs to express their concerns. You can find contact details for your local electorate office here or call into your local radio station with your views to keep this issue in the media.
In the meantime, WSPA is continuing to meet with MPs and supports the calls from RSPCA and Animals Australia. In addition to lobbying activities, WSPA has been invited by the Indonesian Veterinary Medical Association to go to Indonesia next week, to discuss humane slaughter of cattle. Our Campaign Manager Jessica Borg will be attending and we’ll have more news from her in the coming weeks to update you on the progress of this issue.