Author Topic: AU Agriculture Minister Ludwig urged to "express shock" at cattle being tortured  (Read 702 times)


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He wasnt worried about the savagery suffered by our innocent sheep in Pakistan either.

Clearly he doesnt give a rats arse about animals or their welfare. His job is to PROTECT this bastard of a profit driven business.

WA Export News

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Minister briefed to show shock at cruelty.     

AGRICULTURE Minister Joe Ludwig was urged by his department to "express shock" at images to be aired on national television of Australian cattle being tortured in an Indonesian abattoir.

Emails released under freedom of information reveal the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry compiled a suggested "handling approach" for Senator Ludwig to respond to ABC's
Four Corners.

Sent to the minister in the hours before the show aired on May 30 last year, it urges Senator Ludwig to "acknowledge evidence" and "express shock at mistreatment revealed" -- with the latter sentence highlighted in red and underlined.

Opposition frontbencher Eric Abetz, who fought a year-long FOI battle for the documents, told The Australian the emails revealed the minister's response was focused on spin rather than the impact of the program and the issue of animal welfare.

"The government's responses -- whether it's expressing shock or activating 'the Indonesia handling strategy' -- smack of affectation and spin, rather than any genuine appreciation of their consequences for animal welfare, Australian cattle producers, the Indonesian people, and our international relations and live export markets," Senator Abetz said.

The emails show another response suggested for Senator Ludwig in the emails was that the mistreatment of Australian animals was "inconsistent with the advice from the industry representatives and the independent review about practices observed on the ground" but this was struck out by a senior adviser.

"Hi, as discussed, this is heading in the right direction," writes the senior adviser, whose name is blacked out, in the email sent to Jo Evans, executive manager of trade at DAFF on May 30 just after 5pm.

"Just a few changes . . . less accepting of the industry's lines and of course ongoing refinement til after the program tonight."

The email chain also reveals the adviser struck out a suggested sentence that states: "You (minister) asked for action in January."

In the months after the footage aired, Senator Ludwig reversed this position and stated he did warn the industry at the start of the year, writing to Meat and Livestock Australia in January about his concerns about animal welfare. Julia Gillard made a similar comment in interviews.

However, the January 17 letter shows Senator Ludwig wrote to the Australian Livestock Exporters Council about an episode of the ABC's 7.30 Report, aired in November 2010, concerning animal welfare issues with live sheep exports in the Middle East. Neither Indonesia nor live cattle exports to Australia's northern neighbour were mentioned.

The Australian revealed last week that Senator Ludwig's department was warned that banning the live cattle trade to Indonesia would be "viewed very badly" in Indonesia and any suspension would be "felt acutely" by northern Australian farmers.

The June 8 decision by Senator Ludwig is now the subject of legal action and compensation claims made by cattle producers left devastated by the ban.