For Like minded people who like to see-
First published on Unleashed
Belatedly, nearly two weeks after imposing the temporary suspension of the live export cattle trade to Indonesia on June 8th, a trade worth $300 million and very important to northern Australia, Senator Joe Ludwig travelled to Jakarta for talks. To date there has been no resolution from the meetings between Senator Ludwig and Indonesia’s trade minister and agriculture minister. Terry Redman, WA agriculture minister also in Indonesia is quoted as saying [ http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/20/3248773.htm ] “I think this decision certainly has impacted on that relationship and therefore it makes it a little more difficult to get to the outcomes that we're after," he said. "Certainly I think Australia has to jump through a number of diplomatic hoops to get to a good position quickly."
The temporary suspension of Live Exports must be lifted in the next three weeks and the stranded stock must be sent to approved feedlots and slaughter facilities. They are a short boat ride away as opposed to a long haul truck ride on substandard roads. These facilities already have the resources to ensure the welfare of the animals is looked after. This is something the Australian Government has consistently failed to do. The political buck passing and blame swapping is leading up to an animal welfare crisis to put Indonesia’s abattoirs in the shade! These animals must be processed; they cannot stand in yards waiting for the Government to decide who is going to feed them.
Similarly producers must be able to off load sale stock to reduce numbers and make way for the next seasons calves. They must receive their annual income to support the breeding herds and growing stock. These animals still need supplements, medicine, handling and pumps running for water. Simply cutting the supply chain off doesn’t help a pregnant cow or yearling steer. There is also the cost of weed and feral animal control and land management to factor in and most stations only get one pay check and that is from the annual sale of cattle.
The standards in Indonesian slaughter houses can only be physically changed by the Indonesian people and their Government. Now is a good time to provide support for them to make the appropriate changes and upgrade to International standards. Of course this cannot happen with the current misinformation being peddled and the domineering tone adopted by Australia. There has been no calculation for diplomatic relations in the Governments decision, and the Indonesian people could be forgiven for viewing the Australian attitude as arrogant.
We must have an enquiry into a large number of organisations; however this can happen over the next six months. Politics should not be put in front of animal and human welfare. We must examine where the system has failed and why. We must look closely at the Animal Rights groups who exposed the footage then faded away. Withholding the footage and pointing fingers without once attempting to address the core issue. MLA must explain where the money has gone and why they have not even attempted to defend themselves in this storm. The media needs to explain why both sides of the story were not broadcasted, and why the footage was edited to present a completely biased and incorrect portrayal of the Live Export Industry and the Indonesian people. There are top quality abattoirs in Indonesia who are slaughtering to international standards which were not shown in the footage, the multimillion dollar boats that are the best in the world and designed with animal welfare in mind were not discussed and the Indonesian people were not questioned in regard to their view on the abuse of the cattle.
In the long term we need to investigate ways to diversify the markets for Australian beef. Abattoirs are a start to process the cattle that cannot be exported. However the cattle in the Top End are not suited to southern MSA specifications. There is no large scale cropping to support feedlots and the seasonal nature of the beef industry which is dictated by the monsoon would mean domestic processing of beef would also be seasonal. There is no market for the packaged meat and flooding the domestic market would devastate the other primary Industries leading to a massive collapse in the Australian economy. And despite all this there would be no change in the slaughter houses in Indonesia! Actions such as Andrew Wilkies current bill to end all live animal exports by 2014 are neither constructive nor informed. We must remain connected to this industry in order to suggest changes and offer support.
Finally, Australian farmers are rarely in the news when things are going well. The only times the average urban reader will come across a farmer is in an advertisement or a crisis. Well indeed this is a crisis but producers are not going to stand by and be victims! Producers are seeking solutions! For the sake of Australia, the cattle and their future, they will stand their ground!
There is a similar story in the Farm Weekly (Fairfax Rural) this week. The RSPCA categorically state that when they first saw the footage shot by Animals Australia in Indonesia, they, the RSPCA, contacted both Minister Ludwig and the MLA and did not receive a response from either. The Ministers office waited until the day before the 4 Corners programme went to air before they asked for the footage.
Ms Neil (RSPCA) told the Fairfax Press, 'I don't know what the internal mechanisms of either the industry or the Minister's office are but we gave them fair warning.'
Janet Courtney said:
Ian, I was going to reply to your comments about the Nationals newsletter I posted, but saw that Rashida has suggested a new discussion be started. I hope it's OK to post those newsletters. I get them due to having emailed our own national member, and thought that anything pertaining to the plight of country people, especially cattle producers at present might be of interest.
I also noted the following in the Sydney Morning Herald today. I find the SMH somewhat biased to the left so not sure whether there is a case against the organisations that I presume are meant to protect the producers and industry in general. Being an urbanite I tend to rely on what I read for information and I know the media can be very discriminatory.
Regards - Janet C
PS - Rashida What an admirable woman you are - I wish you well in your endeavours, you are the epitome of the Australian Spirit , and it's great to see that spirit lives on.
Thanks for the lovely comments but you really are too kind. Im just not willing to let the country fold on my watch! This is too important to everyone! This is a time for making real differences and protecting the lives of people and animals. I am trying to anticipate issues and avert them, not complain once they have been allowed to happen. There are plenty more people out there doing a terrific job and everyday heros who work hard in the outback supporting everything this country stands for. I am not the only person out there doing this stuff and the more people who speak up or at least come forward and allow us to speak for them the better!
Kevin should be in Indonesia!! Its a real shame he wasnt there 2 weeks ago! The situation should never have disintegrated to this level! People need to do the jobs they are paid to do and education is the key to solving this problem on both sides of the fence.
Just a house keeping note please reply to the discussion and that will save space and repeated comments.
Why isn't our Foreign Affairs minister in Indonesia sorting this out? Surely his job is to try and improve or at least ensure relations between Australia and Indonesia remain stable during this crisis? Despite the relationship between he and his executioner Juliar Gillard, she should be telling him to get his ass there quick smart. Why has he not come out in support of Australia, producers and the rights of these animals and encouraging the use of the facilities that already meet world standards?
In my eyes, this shows that Gillard is not capable of running the government we expect, but that she has no control over the Ministers she appoints. At least if Rudd was there it would make us feel someone is doing something positive but his absence and silence on the issue is disturbing.
Labor has been too busy this week taking the attention away from the live export crisis and everything else of importance, by allowing so much rubbish about Rudds assassination. This crisis is of the utmost importance to be resolved, so shouldn't they be meeting with the producers, representative groups, Indonesian representatives and get everything on the table and begin export as soon as possible.
What could be more important at this point in time for Kevin Rudd to sort out.
Thanks, Dale. Very disappointing response from Nick Xenophon; in fact, he sounds very uninformed indeed. Obviously he needs to be enlightened with some real facts so I guess we should be passing some of the information on this site (e.g. Rashida's writings) along to him.
These people promoting the ban on live exports need to be told that people are important too! It just doesn't seem to have occurred to them - or perhaps they simply don't want to know - that the inhumanity to people over this issue will create immeasurable human suffering.
heard a snip on abc where someone was saying they needed to send Gillard over to show we mean to say sorry and no snub to Indonesia.
really? JuLiar there?
somehow I dont see that as a good idea.
this line...in the mla hype.
This includes our work with independent retail butchers to promote value-added red meat products through MLA’s ‘Beefing up your profits’ and ‘Racking up your profits’ programs.
what a interesting snip.
while the producers go broke they make sure of profit for onsellers,
and I wouldnt be surprised to see that they supply the
"meat glue" to turn scrap to lookalike whole cuts either.
I know we used to get additives etc through some similar/same named industry source years ago when I worked in a butchers.
I have written to Nick several times and it wasnt until I questioned his intelligence and a correspondent passed it along that his office contacted me. They sent a "dont worry lovey, Nick will take care of everything" type email to me which I replied to with enthusiasm. Havent heard since......sigh......
I have heard that Indonesia isnt issueing contracts for our cattle till September. They have filled their needs elsewhere. (I wonder how they are dying?)
From my knowledge of the eastern world (which just quietly is bigger and more influential that the western world) this issue couldnt have played any other way due to the Australian public and government. Indonesia would have helped if we had been diplomatic and resourceful. But NO the media and Government barged in throwing accusations and implications around and now look whats happened! This is about saving face and reminding people that Indonesians are adults, they are educated and yes some of their population is very poor, but the middle class have a lifestyle and they have their own rules as a nation and they are not owned by that little country to the south.
Where the hell is Kevin? He's been missing for two weeks and if he thinks letting Juliar take the blame and sitting back laughing as he wont go if she tells him. Well Buddy I have news for you. We thought you were a crap PM and pulling out of this issue wont raise your votes! We have really had enough of this childish s***!
The world is literally laughing at us! Why because its like a small dog barking at a sleeping cat and having the cat get up and prove to be bigger than the dog!
Oh and just quietly the rate of farmers on suicide watch is rising, the banks are getting nervous, whole stock camps have been laid off.
Alot of people think it must be a big holiday out here in the bush I think they should try it some time. I know we always hear about the blood sweat and tears thing but I dont think people really know what it feels like.
If anyone here has contacts with rurl charities I think we need to get them to do more visits and runs into the Outback. I know the Salvos have a chopper or plane and maybe theres a few others that an possibly check in on people with professional help.
Please ring your neighbour/ relatives/ friends and see how they are. It takes 10 mins and cup of tea but it just may save someones life! A contact has relayed her very real fears for some of the people in her area and so Im assuming this is not uncommon.
I have listened to Marlees interview and she has summed the situation up very clearly. Her circumstances with station access and finances are common throughout the industry. There are alot of people going through this. I commend Marlee for having the guts to have her say! Thank you for sharing your views.