Northern WA's only large-scale abattoir reopened in April following an 18-month closure. With the Indonesian foot and mouth disease outbreak heavily impacting the live cattle export trade, the abattoir is now taking stock that would normally be destined for the live export trade. Meanwhile, the abattoir near Batchelor in the Northern Territory is set to resume processing on July 4 after more than six months of being out of operation. Thats odd - we were always told by the live-ex industry that local processing wasnt an option ...well until it was of course.
The Chief executive of Yeeda Pastoral Company, which owns the Kimberley abattoir, David Larkin, said in June that he was working towards expanding the daily processing capacity from 200 to 300 head of cattle and that they were processing cattle from across northern WA and the Northern Territory. The plan next year is to process more than 80000 cattle.
Mr Larkin said when the live export trade to Indonesia was suddenly banned in 2011, northern WA did not have any abattoirs.He felt the industry was much better placed in 2022 and stated: "A viable processing plant in the north of Australia we would have to think is essential."
VALE would agree - local processing is not only good for farmers in this risky business but infinitely better for the animals. Perhaps we could start sending boxed meat to Indonesia? Wouldnt that be a novel idea?