The Cattle Council of Australia will seek an urgent meeting with agriculture minister Joe Ludwig to push for a resolution to the Government's suspension of live exports to Indonesia as quickly as possible.
CCA executive director David Inall made the following comments in a press release issued this afternoon:
"Cattle Council of Australia understands the pressure on the Government that has led to today’s decision to suspend the livestock export trade to Indonesia. We are committed to working with Government in a calm and focused approach to resume trade as soon as possible.
“We will seek an urgent meeting with the Minister to develop and implement the type of supply chain assurance he has sought for the trade to recommence..
“This suspension needs to be resolved as quickly as possible, we’re talking weeks not months.
"Earlier this week, the Australian livestock industry outlined its solution to assure the welfare of Australian cattle processed in Indonesia. The industry’s plan proposes to only supply Australian cattle to animal welfare accredited feedlots and processing facilities in Indonesia and involves the rapid acceleration in the uptake of the stunning.
“We believe the measures outlined in the plan, with appropriate Government support, will deliver the supply chain assurances and improved animal welfare outcomes the Minister is seeking..
“We are absolutely committed to this approach and we will focus our immediate attention on working with Government to implement the supply chain assurance system. A swift resumption of trade is required to avoid negative animal welfare, trade and economic outcomes both in Indonesia and Australia.
Cattle Council is very aware that this suspension will have drastic financial impacts on Northern beef cattle producers and their surrounding communities. We will raise these issues with Government explaining that our best way to address this problem is to focus is on speedy resumption of trade.
“We can’t emphasize enough that a strong partnership between the Australian and Indonesian Governments is critical at this point. While it may be the Australian Government’s decision to suspend the trade, recommencing the trade will not be a simple unilateral decision and will require agreement of both countries.
“A prolonged suspension would only penalize those operators in Indonesia who are doing the right thing and have invested a lot of their own money in improving animal welfare outcomes in Indonesia.
“We must avoid a drawn out suspension at all costs. It would limit our ability to improve animal welfare in Indonesia and put at risk the long-term future of cattle production in Northern Australia.
"Australian industry involvement in Indonesia through the live export trade is absolutely necessary to deliver the animal welfare improvements that Australian cattle producers and the broader community expect."
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