The Australian government’s cattle ban has affected its meat sales since it was enforced. Authorities said the sales went down after the Four Corners investigation story was shown on national television. Previously, the investigation discovered that the cattle were abused prior to being slaughtered for meat.
According to ABC Australia’s report, Australian meat sales went down by 15 percent as the public refuses to buy meat after the Four Corners report. Many cattle farmers are already trying to sue the former agriculture minister Joe Ludwig of $600 million dollars because of the suspension. These farmers took a hit in their exports because of the Indonesian cattle ban. Ludwig’s lawyers stated that the cattle ban was needed to protect the Australia’s boxed meat trade.
So far, the Four Corners report that three Indonesian slaughterhouses had their cattle beaten up, whipped, and kicked before they were slaughtered. Additionally, the Australian cattle was said to be conscious before they were dismembered. However, the ban barred all of their 11 Indonesian suppliers to make sure of their beef’s quality that’s worth $9 billion.
Former Meat and Livestock Australia chairman Don Heatley has previously said that he warned Ludwig to not continue the massive ban. The suspension would cause problems in the Australian meat industry and wouldn’t sit well with the Indonesian authorities. Indonesia still had five suppliers who met the animal welfare standards and the full blanket ban wasn’t necessary. However, Ludwig didn’t listen and allegedly said to Heatley: “What do you know about Indonesia?”
For now, the trials are still going on and Ludwig will not called back to court for evidence. Neil Williams SC, the former agriculture minister’s lawyer, said that they had no means to assure that the Indonesian supplier’s could still do the job right. The Indonesian cattle ban has definitely hurt the Australian boxed meat industry.