Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Australia suspends live cattle trade to Indonesia after severe animal cruetly

The Australian government has suspended the live export of cattle to 11 abattoirs in Indonesia, after a TV documentary showed brutal treatment of animals at the facilities.

The footage, broadcast on ABC, showed cattle being flogged and taking minutes to die after their necks were slashed.

Some MPs have called for a total ban on the trade with Indonesia, worth more than A$300m (£200m; $320m) a year.

But Indonesian officials have asked Australia not to rush into a decision.

The head of animal welfare at Indonesia's agriculture ministry, Sri Mukartini, said: "Animal welfare is a relatively new issue in Indonesia. We're still developing regulations."

'Systemic problem'

Australia's Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said he had found the images in ABC's Four Corners programme "shocking in the extreme". (read more)