A DELEGATION led by Tony Abbott met with the Indonesian President and a number of senior Indonesian government and business representatives to discuss a range of issues affecting this very important bilateral relationship, Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Food Security John Cobb said today in a statement after returning from a three-day visit to Indonesia.
The leader of the Coalition Tony Abbott, the Deputy leader of the Liberal Party, Julie Bishop, and the Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, John Cobb, spent a day touring facilities involved in the Indonesian beef industry.
“Australia’s active involvement in the live export market is a force for good in international animal welfare,” Mr Cobb said.
“Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop were very impressed by the quality of the facilities and the professionalism of the people involved.
"The Australian and Indonesian beef industry were very appreciative with the engagement of the Coalition and that Tony Abbott gave so much time to the live export industry.
"I was very proud to be able to show how much effort the Industry had put in in the last 12 months to comply with the traceability system.
“Feedlots are building what amounts to a community abattoirs with stunning equipment on site.
This allows local butchers to come to the feedlot and buy a couple of prime animals and then process them on-site in modern facilities so animal welfare can be maintained at the highest standard.
“This is step change for Indonesia and is helping to improve animal welfare standards.
“What’s more the local butchers really appreciate it, as the facilities with stunning make the animals easier to handle, the quality of the meat is better and animal welfare can be handled appropriately.
“This is a win-win for all those concerned. Importantly, none of it would have happened without the continued Australian involvement in the live export market.
“Indonesia remains Australia’s largest market for live cattle, accounting for 60pc of our live cattle exports in 2011 – that’s a drop from over 80pc of all cattle exports in 2009 in the wake of... the knee-jerk ban last year.
“Today, approximately 80pc of approved facilities in Indonesia use stunning off, way up from a low base of approximately 15pc at the time of the trade supsension.
“Australia’s leading role in international animal welfare and our investment and involvement in the live export market is critical in lifting animal welfare standards around the world.
“The Coalition delegation ... was well received and has started the bridge-building following last year’s Labor-induced diplomatic and trade disasters.
“The extraordinary step of sending a delegation of four senior Shadow Ministers to Indonesia demonstrates the importance we place on their country as a valued trading partner.”
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