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All News Updates & Public Comment => Live Export News Updates => : WA Export News December 23, 2011, 12:39:12 AM

: Ban on live cattle export causes financial pain for LiveCorp. 23.12.2011
: WA Export News December 23, 2011, 12:39:12 AM
LiveCorp suffers loss as revenue drops after ban on live cattle export.

 A KEY body representing the $1 billion live cattle export industry is in the red following the temporary ban on live trade to Indonesia, with the crisis causing a significant drop in revenue.

The annual report of LiveCorp reveals the body -- which is responsible for researching and developing new markets -- recorded a $416,059 loss in the 2010-11 financial year because of a reduction in levies received from farmers.

Company directors also raised concerns about LiveCorp's "ability to continue", given the drop in income is not expected to improve until the middle of next year.

The Gillard government reopened exports to Indonesia in July but has introduced strict new animal welfare standards, which means trade has trickled back as companies implement new animal tracking systems.

LiveCorp and fellow industry body Meat and Livestock Australia were heavily criticised during the trade crisis for failing to address animal welfare concerns in Indonesian abattoirs.

But LiveCorp chief executive Rob Sutton took a swipe at animal activists involved in the Four Corners expose on the mistreatment of Australian cattle, which led to the month-long ban.

"When an industry is attacked by a well-financed lobby group, the damage can be significant," Mr Sutton wrote in the annual report. "During the 2010-2011 financial year that reality and associated damages impacted the live export industry and affiliated companies."

Mr Sutton went on to say that LiveCorp was a not-for-profit company to support the trade and this was "apparently lost on some welfare groups".

"When pressed, the welfare lobby freely admits the Australian industry involvement improves the welfare of livestock in overseas markets," he said.

"It therefore would be ironic that a well-financed attack on the continuation of the trade could directly damage . . . companies that globally contribute to significant welfare improvements in neighbouring international markets."

The report, tabled in the Senate this week, showed LiveCorp's bottom line also had been affected by the decision by Indonesia to reduce the weight and number of cattle being imported from Australia.

Company directors wrote in the financial statements that LiveCorp had "suffered a significant reduction in revenue from statutory levies following the Australian government suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia" and this financial loss would continue until at least June 2012.

"The ability of the company to continue as a going concern depends on the amount of statutory levies received in the future, and the ability to tailor its expenditure in relation to its revenue," they said.

"The existence of these circumstances may cast significant doubt on the company's ability to continue as a going concern, and therefore, the company may be unable to realise its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business."

The directors go on to note LiveCorp has significant financial assets and should be able to "realise these assets" as required.

    by: Milanda Rout
    From: The Australian
    December 23, 2011 (