Saffin urges caution on export ban
THE lifting of the live export ban to Indonesia has been greeted with caution by Page MP Janelle Saffin who says she wants more information from the government before she fully supports the move.
The Federal Government last month froze live exports to Indonesia in response to shocking footage of animal cruelty exposed in some Indonesian abattoirs.
However Agriculture Minister, Joe Ludwig announced earlier this week the suspension would be lifted and said the supply chain would be carefully monitored and regulated to ensure Australian cattle were treated humanely in Indonesian abattoirs.
However the move has caused division within the Labor Party with nine backbenchers signing a letter of protest about the lift.
Although Ms Saffin, a vocal opponent of live export, was not one of those who signed the letter, she said she wanted more details about how the practice would be monitored and regulated before she threw her full support behind the lifting of the ban.
Ms Saffin said a Labor Caucus last month endorsed a motion which among other requirements called for “the immediate cessation of live cattle exports to Indonesia until all slaughter houses receiving Australian cattle to comply with international OIE standards, encouraging the use of stunning and ongoing independent monitoring”.
“The minister (Ludwig) has declared that no live cattle will depart for Indonesia until the government is assured of humane treatment throughout the supply chain,” Ms Saffin said.
“I welcome this and I'd like to be able to say that the minister's announcement satisfies the three-part motion put to Caucus last month.
"At this stage I do not have enough information to give that unqualified support.”
Ms Saffin said in particular she wanted to see more detail about how the Federal Government would encourage the practice of stunning animals before slaughter which she said was a more humane practice.
“The Caucus motion clearly called for encouraging the use of stunning, and that has to be an ongoing process,” she said.