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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs         7  July 2011

Australia lifts ban on Indo cattle exports

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The Australian government has lifted its ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia on the condition that stricter regulations be imposed on industry participants.

Australia's agriculture minister, Joe Ludwig, said the government was lifting the ban, imposed a month ago after allegations of mistreatment at slaughterhouses here, but did not say when exports would resume.

"These strict new conditions have been written into all export permits," Ludwig said in a statement on Wednesday.

"They require exporters to trace cattle from properties, onto vessels, into feedlots and into abattoirs that meet agreed international standards."

Exporters will be required to report details such as the location where cattle are fattened, the method of transportation and the site of the slaughterhouse.

Australia banned cattle exports to Indonesia on June 7 after the broadcast of footage showing the mistreatment of Australian cattle in 12 Indonesian slaughterhouses.

Joni Liano, executive director of the Indonesian Meat Producers and Feedlot Association (Apfindo), said the Australian government had been too quick in halting the exports to Indonesia.

"The ban was unnecessary," he said. "Indonesia also wants improvement, but it was harsh to judge the whole industry only by those exposed abattoirs."

Indonesia's deputy agriculture minister, Bayu Krisnamurthi, welcomed the news, rejecting earlier suggestions Indonesia had taken steps to block imports.

"It was the Australian side that made the decision to stop exporting," he said on Wednesday.

He said because Indonesia had not revoked the import license, the shipment of live cattle could resume immediately.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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