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Alison Penfold says they are “doing everything they can to put the assurances in place” – they most certainly are doing a lot of assuring of the Australian public that animal welfare is of the utmost importance, and they have voluntarily suspended trade to Egypt, but if THEY are doing everything they can, why is it never the industry – the exporters, the suppliers or DAFF that is exposing the cruelty and abuse – why are there no spot inspections, or monitoring of the facilities? How do they KNOW what standards are being met and how good the animal welfare is, if they’re never there to catch the breaches?

By Alison’s very own admission, they have suspended trade to a country to which we haven’t exported cattle in about 10 months; a country with which the live cattle trade is estimated to be worth $25 million – not a huge sacrifice in the scheme of things, but yes, it does make them sound pro-active, when in fact they are being very REactive.

No one is suggesting the trade be banned overnight – anyone who has a basic knowledge of the industry knows the kind of horrific domestic animal welfare problems and financial impact for producers that would arise with an overnight ban. We are calling for a phase out of live exports over a three to five year period – with assurances that the money, the work, the infrastructure, the labour – everything that is required to process locally is in place before shutting down this trade.

As for supplying a demand “While ever the customer demands live animals for their own protein needs, surely it's Australia - surely Australia should be doing what it can to service those needs.” The “if we don’t do it someone else will” is a lame argument to justify a trade that is intrinsically wrong and inherently cruel. If we don’t make money out of supplying drugs to schoolchildren, someone else will… the analogies are endless. What about saying “if we don’t set an example and say we do not accept this treatment of animals during their slaughter, we are in fact condoning it" – by continuing to supply animals for slaughter to markets that continue to abuse those animals, we are sending a message to the world that Australia condones this treatment.

It’s wrong on so many levels – YES, Australia has the space, capacity and the expertise to grow top quality animals for human consumption – why then would we cram then on a ship for two…three… up to five weeks, and send them off to countries which struggle to meet and often fail to meet even the very low OIE standards that we have mandated for the handling and slaughter of those animals? Why would we ship offshore all the jobs and value adding that is associated with the supply of those animals? Why would producers NOT want to see their animals they claim to care about so much, slaughtered in Australian abattoirs, to Australian standards, in the most humane way possible and where there are at least SOME measures in place to try to minimise their suffering, and see the profits and jobs stay in Australia?

The sheep prices fell in the West and the flock numbers rose because of the loss of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and any other traditional markets for the Dorpas and Damaras that refused to, or did not meet ESCAS requirements – this is why we would say that a chilled only trade supplies the producer with a much more reliable and consistent market – it is not influenced by the red tape of having to meet handling and slaughter standards in importing countries, it is not hampered by the whims, vagaries, egos, political processes or corruption of importing countries

How can a chilled meat trade worth $7 billion possibly not absorb a live trade worth less than $1 billion if the time, effort and money is put into developing viable domestic processing for the animals that are currently exported live? Yes – importing countries can have all the Australian animals they want, but they MUST go on the hook and not on the hoof.

In the end, the fact is, there can realistically be no control over the handling and slaughter of animals once they leave this country - we owe them more than this. How many isolated incidents make up an epidemic?

Katrina Love, Stop Live Exports

alison penfold
Alison Penfold of the Australian Live Exporters Council's interview on ABC's LateLine - interview here.

Posted by on in Latest Info

"A cruel blow for farmers"

"Frankly, Australia and its farmers can't afford to have this happen."

Regarding the footage of horrific abuse and slaughter practices of Australian cattle in Egypt, these are the kind of comments that are earning the producers no sympathy or support - how about just ONE COMMENT about how unacceptable it is to have animals treated this way ANYWHERE?

Meanwhile, industry says it has voluntarily suspended trade to Egypt in light of this evidence, but how noble or how much of a sacrifice is it to suspend trade to a country we haven't exported any cattle to in 10 months; a country which Australia's cattle exports are worth a paltry $25 million?

Just once, I'd like to see a producer/live export supplier jumping up and down demanding improvements and condemning the industry for allowing this to happen.

Weekly Times article here.

Egypt sokhna AA

That Australia has "abundant and suitable land" for running cattle in the north is debatable; that Indonesia has some of the most fertile soils in the world is inarguable though... what a pity they don't have the best abattoirs and handling & slaughter practices in the world. Is it a match made in heaven? Maybe for the producers and exporters - certainly not for the bovine victims of this trade.

From: The Australian

By: Ross Taylor

May 01, 201312:00AM

AS Australian cattle farmers continue to suffer from the fallout following the inept handling of the live cattle ban placed on Indonesia by federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig, the huge opportunity for both Australia and Indonesia to develop a major agriculture partnership goes untapped.

Despite Indonesia's goal of becoming self-sufficient in cattle and meat supplies, the reality that most cattle producers in Australia -- and Indonesia-- know is that it doesn't make sense for Indonesia to go it alone. In fact, the existing supply-chain arrangement between Australia and Indonesia is made in heaven for both countries.

It makes perfect sense for cattle to be bred in the north of Australia, where there is abundant and suitable land, then at about 350kg be exported to Indonesia for fattening and eventual slaughter. Australia's long dry season prohibits this process being undertaken here. Meanwhile, in Indonesia it makes no sense to allocate some of the world's richest and most fertile agricultural land -- which is perfect for growing food -- and allocate it to breeding cattle.

So not only should the live exports between Australia be fully restored (and this will take a lot of hard political work), the model should be used to substantially expand our relationship with Indonesia in the development of food-based opportunities.

As highlighted at the Global Food Forum recently, Australia talks of becoming the food bowl of Asia. Realistically, that is most unlikely. If we could double our present levels of agriculture production in this country we would then supply just about 1 per cent of Asia's requirements to feed its 4.2 billion people.

Australia faces other hurdles in its desire to feed the region as our agricultural industry continues to shrink in size. Obstacles to reversing this trend include:

lLabour costs; in many cases they are too high.

lDiminishing productivity.

lAvailability of labour: the shortage of labour is a major constraint to the development of food-based industries.

lThe distance to markets, particularly from our north, is often too far.

lFear of foreign investment in food-growing land and general agriculture.

lThe impact of climate and poor rainfall.

Agriculture in Indonesia, on the other hand, is almost four times bigger than Australia, employing more than 44 million people who work on about one-quarter of the land mass we use. Indonesia enjoys numerous comparative advantages:

lProximity to markets.

lAbundance of cheap and experienced labour.

lIncredibly fertile soil, among the best in the world.

lRegular and widespread rainfall.

lA large and growing domestic market.

Indo abattoir rpe slaughter AA

Photo: Animals Australia

What Indonesia lacks, however, is technical knowledge and expertise. Australian farmers, through our agriculture and horticulture industries, are among the best in the world. They've had to be good at their trade. Virtually no government subsidies and a harsh and isolated environment have meant that for our agriculture industry to succeed we have to be very good at what we do.

And here lies the opportunity for Australia to diversify away from the sole reliance on resources.

Australia's agriculture sector has world-class expertise in the areas of technology, science, water and farm management, and marketing and branding.

These are the things that Indonesia needs desperately to build capacity within its own agriculture sector. A partnership with Australian industry could see the development of significant exports to third-party countries where the strengths of our two countries come together to build new opportunities and dramatically expand trade.

Already we have seen Australian potato growers change tack from trying to compete with major suppliers from the US and Europe in selling potatoes to Indonesia to building partnerships with Indonesian potato growers.

We provide expertise and the training, in addition to exporting world-class seeds, to allow Indonesia to develop its own industry. Already this approach has seen potato yields in East Java increase from 10 tonnes a hectare to 30 tonnes a hectare. Opportunities also exist in mangoes, sugar, soybean, rice, and many other food-based products.

So why don't we embrace such an opportunity? Sadly, the Australia-Indonesia relationship, despite all the nice words said between our political leaders, is still dominated by "political irritants" and a "Bali holidays" mindset.

Indonesia soon will overtake Australia in economic size. For the first time we will have a regional neighbour that dominates us. It will be a game changer that will allow Australia enormous opportunities to build closer trade, business and community ties.

By developing deeper and mutually beneficial relationships such as a major collaboration and partnerships in agriculture, combined with increased youth exchanges, language and people-to-people contacts, we can enjoy riding on the back of Indonesia's transition to a world-class nation.

Ross Taylor is chairman of the Indonesia Institute.

How do you enforce any welfare standards for beeeding stock in a country with no animal welfare laws, when those animals may realistically have up to ten years of 'use'?

Read article, with Animals Australia and RSPCA commentary here.


Both heavily pregnant Australian cows and calves died from malnutrition and heat strokein temperatures up to 50 degrees C in Qatar last year. Photo: Animals Australia

Posted by on in Latest Info

By Bill Tatt at The Western Magazine
9 April 2013

Beef exports to the Middle East set a new record for the month of February when sales of 5463 tonnes were achieved by our processors. 

Saudi Arabia and Iran were major contributors to this surge with tallies of 2512 tonnes and 1112 tonnes respectively.

beef exports MLA
To 2012. Graphic: MLA

Brazil was the principal loser in these matters with the Saudis placing a ban on their beef in the latter end of 2012.

This was a dramatic fall for the South American country which, up until they were banned, had racked up 33,396 tonnes for the year.

To highlight how good this month was for our industry the five- year average for February stood at 272 tonnes and February 2012 saw a meagre 313 tonnes go to this particular country.

An aside to this upward trend is the continued necessity for producers to complete their NVDs  correctly and make sure question nine referring to Russian and Saudi Arabia eligibility is, along with the rest of the document, completed correctly.

Lambs, not to be outdone, rose to 9077 tonnes to the end of February for countries designated as the Middle East.

This was a rise of 54 per cent year- on-year and some 200 per cent up on the five- year average.

The United Arab Emirates remained the principal destination receiving 2344 tonnes in the first two months of 2013.

Live sheep exports are expected to be at their lowest in more than 20 years during 2012-2013.

This side of the industry is tipped by analysts to recover in the short to medium term to reach 2.4 million head by 2017-18.

At that point in time ABARE predicts that the Australian sheep flock will, they suggest, stablise at about 80 million head after growing slightly year on year from now to then.

world beef exporters the atlanticdotcom

To 2012. Graphic: The Atlantic

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