Obviously we haven't managed to persuade the Indonesians that stunning is such a good idea after all: fatwas are being issued disallowing pre-slaughter stunning. So much for improving animal welfare.
Read the article in the Herald Sun.
A former industry player has admitted that it is a drive towards self sufficiency in beef supply that has led to Indonesia's import restrictions, and not poor handling by the Australian Government.
Steve Meerwald, former boss of Wellard Rural Exports, says that Indonesia was already looking at cutting back before the 2011 export suspension. You can read the ABC Rural article here.
A significant decrease in cattle imported in 2010 (520,987) compared to 2009 (772,868) would certainly support Mr Meerwald's comment.
It's interesting to note that while the live export market seems to be waning, red meat export from Australia is skyrocketing.
Meat and Livestock Australia has reported that Australian exports to the Middle East in May are at record levels, 46 per cent more than this time last year (and five times more than they were a decade ago). Especially notable is the increased meat imported by Saudi Arabia despite their suspension of Australian live sheep imports.
Perhaps we dont have to send live animals to the Middle East after all?