Australia bans all live cattle exports to Indonesia

The Australian government has suspended live cattle exports to Indonesia until safeguards are adopted to end the brutal slaughter of animals.

The move follows an investigation into Indonesian abattoirs by Australia's ABC broadcaster, which showed graphic footage of animals being mistreated.

It prompted a public outcry and demands for the government to act.

Last week, Canberra suspended exports to abattoirs shown in the programme, but now it has issued a blanket ban.
Farmers' warning

The ban is the result of public revulsion and outrage at the gruesome footage from Indonesia's abattoirs that was broadcast last week in an ABC TV documentary.

It showed steers being whipped, beaten and slashed repeatedly, and suffering terrible pain before they are slaughtered.Australia first announced a ban on live exports to the 12 abattoirs featured in the programme.

But the public demanded more, signing online petitions to halt the trade with Indonesia and pressing lawmakers in Canberra to bring in a complete ban.

Butchers have also reported that beef sales are down by up to 15%.

An early indication that a ban was about to come into effect came on Tuesday, when about 2,000 cattle were not allowed to board a ship in Western Australia that was about to set sail for Indonesia.

Now has come the announcement that exports will be halted until safeguards are put in place in Indonesia to safeguard the animals.

Australia exports more than 700,000 cattle each year - the vast majority to Indonesia.

However, Australian farmers have warned that a ban would destroy many rural livelihoods.

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