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Indonesia, Australia Work Towards Lifting Cattle Ban

JAKARTA/REUTERS

Indonesia and Australia are working together on a draft of animal welfare guidelines and standards, aimed at helping resume Australian cattle exports to its top market, both governments said June 20.

Australia suspended live cattle exports to Indonesia earlier this month after an outcry over a video showing inhumane treatment of cattle there, prompting calls for an outright ban on all livestock shipments.

Australia’s minority government had been under pressure to halt the A$320 million ($342 million) Indonesia live cattle exports after television footage showed cattle being beaten, whipped and maimed prior to slaughter in some abattoirs.

Australia’s beef cattle herd is some 28 million head, of which live cattle exports represent around 800,000 head. About 500,000 go to Indonesia.

Last week, the Indonesian government invited six countries – New Zealand, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay and Ireland – to attend a meeting to discuss live cattle supplies.

Only three countries – New Zealand, Canada and Brazil – attended the meeting and none could supply live cattle to Indonesia.

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