Slaughtering Indonesia's cattle trust
Published 1:50 PM, 16 Aug 2011 Last update 1:50 PM, 16 Aug 2011
The government’s decision to halt live cattle exports to Indonesia, without prior warning, deeply disturbed Indonesia. Australian beef accounts for 25 per cent of the country’s meat and is a vital source of protein for millions of Indonesians. There are also thousands employed in feedlots, abattoirs and downstream processing, and Indonesia had considered Australia to be close enough to form part of its own food security.
In addition, the Australian government has long had a policy of supporting neighbouring countries that are members of global animal health organisation OIE as they progressively implement its standards of animal handling and welfare. Indonesia is such a member.
The export ban undermined all that. Many in Indonesia now regard Australia as an unreliable supplier, and there are strong indications the country will seek to diversify its sources by importing cattle and beef from other countries while renewing efforts to become self-sufficient in beef by 2014.
This is a great example of what kind of damage animal rights activists can cause. I don’t want to see livestock being mistreated but I really don’t want to see people suffering from hunger either. These extreme activists weren’t concerned about fixing the problems that occurred, they saw this as an opportunity to do damage to the family farmers and ranchers that raised livestock. Along the way they damaged the families in Indonesia that rely on the beef they raise to feed their families. Livestock play an important role in feeding hungry people. It’s just unfortunate that many animal rights activists fail to realize this.