Queensland farm lobby group AgForce supports a full Federal government investigation of new footage of Indonesian abattoir practices aired last night on ABC’s Lateline program.
In a media statement issued this morning, AgForce Cattle president Grant Maudsley said grass-roots cattle producers remain firmly committed to improving animal welfare standards here and overseas.
“What we saw on our TV screens last night is unacceptable to the cattle industry and we want to send a very clear signal to the Australian public that such practices need to be investigated and if necessary appropriate action taken,” Mr Maudsley said.
“The footage raises questions that can only be answered by a thorough review so let’s allow that review to take place.”
Mr Maudsley said since the new Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) system was introduced last year, private exporters and the government have made strong progress in improving animal welfare standards in approved Indonesian abattoirs.
“The live export industry has never pretended it could transform the processing practices employed in a foreign country overnight and there would be challenges,” Mr Maudsley said.
“We appreciate the ongoing support of the Federal government, Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig and the general public in allowing us the time to effect real change.
“At least we now have a system that can quickly identify and isolate problems to a particular supply chain, rectify the problems and take appropriate action if necessary against the operators concerned instead of shutting the entire industry down.”
Mr Maudsley said on behalf of its cattle producer members AgForce awaits the outcome of the Federal government investigation, and will push for the integrity of the new ESCAS system and the entire trade to be protected.
“What we have to remember through this process are the countless rural communities across Australia that depend upon the live cattle export business. From producers, truck drivers, feed suppliers and even the corner shop – this industry is their lifeblood and its economic importance must be recognised.”