The Australian livestock export industry has moved to suspend supply of cattle to three Indonesian abattoirs after evidence of animal cruelty was identified.
In a press release issued Friday afternoon, LiveCorp chief executive Cameron Hall said footage provided to the industry on Tuesday led to the industry immediately requesting the Indonesian industry to suspend the supply of Australian cattle to these facilities.
“Cruelty to Australian animals is simply unacceptable. We will not tolerate it,” Mr Hall said.
“This graphic and distressing footage has upset and frustrated the industry, particularly given our major efforts to improve animal welfare in Indonesia.”
Mr Hall said the Indonesian industry had rallied quickly to sanction those butchers and locations acting in a cruel and inhumane manner. The industry is committed to suspend supply of cattle to those facilities until the animal welfare issues are addressed and it can be demonstrated that acceptable standards can be met on a consistent basis.
The footage also showed a fourth processing facility at which poor practices were evident. The industry has not requested the supply of cattle to be suspended to this facility because it is confident it can address these practices with an intensive training program.
“A team of Australian cattle experts will fly to Indonesia this weekend to deliver this training to priority facilities, including this facility,” Mr Hall said.
He said the industry recently released an animal welfare strategy containing a specific action plan for Indonesia, on the back of an independent review of Indonesian facilities conducted last year.
“The tangible actions coming out of this Indonesian plan are essential to bolstering our existing animal welfare efforts and eradicating cruel practices. Our Indonesian action plan will intensify and accelerate our efforts to further improve animal welfare standards. We are devoting extra staff and resources to initiatives, including intensive training programs run by Australian cattle handling experts and upgrading facilities.”
Mr Hall said the industry was committed to improving welfare at every facility that processed Australian cattle.
“Our animal welfare strategy is focussed on ensuring our cattle are only supplied to facilities where supply chains meet or exceed global animal welfare standards. While we face many challenges in improving animal welfare in a developing country, including access to electricity and inadequate infrastructure, we’ve made major progress during the past decade. Every day we have a team of specialists working on the ground – upgrading facilities, training local workers and proactively educating people on animal welfare.”
Mr Hall said there was more work to be done, particularly at the point of processing, however if Australia was to cease exporting cattle, animal welfare would only go backwards.
“Importers could easily source stock from other countries. No other nation has the same commitment to animal welfare as Australia and no other country invests in animal welfare like we do.”