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MEDIA RELEASE

Federal Government suspension of slaughter cattle exports to Indonesia

8 June 2011

Wellard Rural Exports accepts the suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia announced by the Federal Government today.

Wellard Rural Exports Managing Director Steve Meerwald said Wellard and the industry were working quickly to achieve the best animal welfare outcomes for Australian cattle in Indonesia through the development of a system which ensured Australian cattle in Indonesia were processed using acceptable standards at accredited abattoirs with appropriate traceability mechanisms.

It is important that once those improvements are in place that the Federal Government acknowledges the enhanced animal welfare outcomes they provide by lifting the suspension, Mr Meerwald said.

“Wellard and the live export industry are working with the Indonesian industry to develop a supply chain where cattle are supplied only to accredited abattoirs which meet acceptable infrastructure and training standards, and a robust, verifiable and auditable supply chain assurance system is developed and managed,” he said.

“When the industry achieves these improvements it is important the Government recognises that progress by lifting the suspension and allowing Australian cattle producers to continue to supply quality Australian beef to Indonesian consumers.

“This would achieve the best animal welfare outcomes by channelling animals into the best facilities, and it would re-open a market that is crucial for cattle producers across northern Australia.”

Mr Meerwald said that the unfortunate consequence of the suspension was that it also penalised abattoirs in Indonesia which had invested in modern facilities to optimise animal welfare.

For further information please contact:

Cameron Morse
Phone: + 61 8 9386 1233
Mobile: +61 433 886 871
Website: www.wellard.com.au

 

Background – Wellard Rural and Trading

Wellard is a world leader in the production and distribution of livestock and grain.

Its two largest subsidiaries are Wellard Rural Exports, Australia’s largest livestock exporter and ship owner, and Wellard Agri, a large mixed farming land owner and operator specialising in the production of grains, legumes and livestock.

Wellard Rural Exports has supplied quality dairy and beef cattle and sheep and goats to the world for more than 30 years, and its investment in the live export industry is without peer.  Based in Fremantle, Western Australia, the company’s operations cover every aspect of the export chain, including feed milling, livestock aggregation, road transport, feedlot facilities throughout Australia and modern shipping.

The company’s flagship carrier, the MV Ocean Drover (formerly the MV Becrux), is a purpose-built livestock carrier capable of carrying 75,000 sheep or 18,000 cattle to major markets around the globe.  She was commissioned in 2002.

Its MV Ocean Shearer (formerly the MV Stella Deneb) can carry 125,000 sheep or 23,000 cattle, or a combination of both.

Two new, technologically advanced, purpose-built vessels, the MV Ocean Swagman and the MV Ocean Outback, were launched in 2010. They offer unparalleled levels of safety for the livestock, crew and vessel, and can transport 7000 cattle, 25,000 sheep, or a combination of both.

Wellard Agri owns and operates eight farms covering 33,000 hectares across three agri-hubs. The two northern hubs are located at Dongara and Watheroo in Western Australia’s central midlands and one is located at Kojonup in the Great Southern region of WA.

The Dongara hub is home to The Grange, a 14,500 hectare property which is considered one of Western Australia’s blue chip farming properties.

The remaining landholding totals more than 18,000 hectares, of which 14,000 hectares is cropped to a variety of grains and legumes. The other 4000ha is devoted to sheep production, including the famous Hyfield Poll Merino stud at Kojonup. In addition, Wellard leases an additional 14,500ha for livestock and grain production.

Wellard Agri also has operations in the farm machinery sector, through management of the CLAAS Harvest Centres at Katanning and Esperance for the Landpower range of farm machinery.

Visit www.wellard.com.au