9 Jun 2011

Beef producers call for compensation over Indonesia ban

2:02 pm on 9 June 2011

An Australian meat industry group has rejected calls for it to pay compensation to cattle farmers hit by the government's ban on live exports to Indonesia.

Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig on Wednesday stopped exports for up to six months after an ABC documentary last week revealed cattle being horribly mistreated before slaughter in Indonesian abattoirs.

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) admitted it had been aware of issues in Indonesian abattoirs for years, but said it would not be dipping into its cash reserves for compensation, because the decision to impose the ban was made by the government.

Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association executive director Luke Bowen said he was meeting with the Territory, Queensland and Western Australian governments to discuss compensation.

Mr Bowen says the industry has effectively ground to a halt during one of its busiest periods.

He says it's not just the farmers who feel the impact, but suppliers, contractors, stock agents and exporters as well.