Sunday, July 03, 2011

Ag Minister under fire (and he should be)

The Federal Minister for Agriculture, Senator Joe Ludwig, must be a strange bloke. His knee-jerk reaction to ban live cattle exports to Indonesia once massive publicity hit about the treatment of cattle in that country's abattoirs doesn't really sit with his complete indifference to the scams in the egg industry.
It is even worse that the blanket ban on live exports includes Elders whuch has been operating its own state-of-the-art abattoir in Indonesia for some years.  It meets all Australian standards and yet it is not allowed to send cattle there!
Whether or not the live cattle trade should be allowed at all is a separate question. There is much to be said for value-adding here in Australia and re-opening abattoirs in the Northern Territory and Northern Queensland which were forced to close once live exports took off. Interestingly advertisements have just been placed in major newspapers for staff needed at a huge new meat processing facility to be set up in Darwin
But, back to the Minister. If you can act so swiftly Senator Ludwig, why not get off your backside and do something about the eggs in Australia which are labelled as 'free range' when most of them are produced on intensive farms with hens that have been de-beaked (or beak trimmed).

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