Livestock transport jumps after export ban


Livestock volumes are up following last year’s lifting of a livestock export ban, the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) says. <br /><br /> Whilst the Federal Government is investigating new claims of slaughter practices at two Indonesian abattoirs, ALRTA Executive Director Philip Halton says he’s unsure whether the new claims will affect the industry.

Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | March, 6

Livestock volumes are up following last year’s lifting of a live-export ban, the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) says.

Whilst the Federal Government is investigating new claims of slaughter practices at two Indonesian abattoirs, ALRTA Executive Director Philip Halton says he’s unsure whether the new claims will affect the industry.

"I don’t know if this is placing pressure on our members at the moment; there have clearly been some allegations in the media but after last year’s events the government completely overhauled the regulatory system for live export," Halton says.

"They have announced that they have investigators looking into that video and at the moment. It’s not actually established that we’re looking at Australian animals or Australian animals that have got out of the control of an exporter"

Last year, live cattle exports to Indonesia were banned for one month in the wake of other footage showing cruel treatment of cattle there.

Livestock exporters faced financial pressure following the ban, with some tightening their belts in order to stay afloat, Halton adds.

"I know of a couple of members who disposed of their vehicles and made some other changes to their business – they tightened their belts pretty strongly.

"Volumes have been moving up surprisingly sharp in the live export trade.

"While that was obviously quite a shock to confidence, the really significant thing about the government’s new regulations is they are licensing individual firms to export to other countries.

"They’re holding individual exporters accountable for being able to trace all of their animals right through to the final point of slaughter – the implication of that is if there is a proven event in the future then rather than having to close down the entire country, the government would find itself taking action regarding one particular company."

Halton believes the long-term safety of the industry has been improved because of the process and believes with the country no longer faces another ban like last year’s.

"This new legal frame that they’ve got means that it is never going to be a necessary response to anything that goes wrong," he says.

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