Friday, October 14th, 2011
The Northern Territory Agricultural Association (NTAgA) supports the immediate resumption of trade with accredited and regulated abattoirs. We believe this is essential to ensure animal welfare gains and processes continue and that lives and livelihoods of people reliant on the trade in both countries are not totally devastated. Enough has been said about the horrific and disturbing images presented in the 4 Corners report. Suffice to say animal welfare and humane treatment of all livestock is an ethical and moral imperative for everyone in society.

Ninety percent of NTAgA members are directly or indirectly involved with the live-cattle trade through the production and supply of hay, processed fodder, cattle, pastures and agistment in the Top End. All of these people are now in limbo with hay contracts being postponed or cancelled. Producers and contractors have stopped harvesting, with the real possibility of many going under. The welfare and nutrition of stock in the mustering, transport and depoting of cattle is dependent on the Territory’s hay and fodder industries.

There is an even greater potential for animal welfare issues to develop across northern Australia, if stock are not moved immediately. Cattle already in yards across the Top End and other states will require extended periods of feeding until decisions are made on what to do with them. Stock returned to properties will only increase the grazing pressure on land at a time when there is absolutely no growth or pasture production for the next five to six months.

If properties are forced to hold on to hundreds of thousands of additional cattle there will be massive and widespread land degradation, pasture decline and increasing incidences of livestock starvation due to a lack of feed. This would have compounding effects into the next dry season and could take several years to rectify. Some degraded land may never recover.

It would be an ironic tragedy that the very measures taken to improve animal welfare in Indonesia, could quite easily and quickly result in unforseen but widespread animal suffering and starvation in Northern Australia.

Contact Profile

Northern Territory Agricultural Association

The Northern Territory Agricultural Association is an organisation dedicated to promoting and representing broadacre, mixed farming, fodder and forestry businesses in the Top End. It promotes the industries interests in relation land and water management, sustainable farming, development and agricultural policies. The Association also promotes and supports agriculture through targeted on-farm and extension and development projects.
Fergal O'Gara
P: 0416235734
M: 0416235734


Live-cattle trade, animal welfare, livelihoods, starvation, land degradation



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