Sale organisers remaining upbeat

Claire TyrrellCountryman

Organisers of this year’s Broome Bull sale are confident the sale will go ahead despite the live export ban to Indonesia.

David Lovelock, of Canterbury stud in New Norcia, nominated 40 cattle for the August 10 sale.

David and his wife Kathy co-ordinate the Broome bull sale.

He said the live export suspension dented the confidence of northern producers, but he felt optimistic that trade would resume.

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“The station people are extremely worried, but we have to keep preparing bulls and hope the industry will at least start to flow by then,” he said.

“If the industry is shut down, pastoralists will be very uncertain of their future.

“Some people might not buy bulls at the sale, but they need to keep their breeding programs.

“We have to plan ahead as if things are going to continue.”

A Cattle Council board member, David is helping to construct a plan to resume trade to Indonesia.

“The Cattle Council is working hard to define a pathway so we know the cattle going from here to Indonesia aren’t mistreated,” he said.

“The industry has a plan whereby we can trace all the cattle that go to Indonesia from now on; that will eliminate the Government’s requirements. We are hopeful we can get the traffic starting to flow again in the next five to six weeks.”

David, who is also the Pastoralists and Graziers Association’s representative on the Cattle Council, said the council planned to monitor at least 25 compliant Indonesian abattoirs.

“We are proposing to monitor the five Indonesian abattoirs that are using stun guns and the other 20 that are operating to international standards,” he said.

“There are many abattoirs that are doing the right thing.

“We want to introduce stunning as quickly as possible, but not make it compulsory.”

David said the long-term viability of Australia’s live cattle trade depended on the Indonesian situation being resolved.

While the Cattle Council couldn’t monitor all Indonesian abattoirs, David said Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) had the funds to initiate training for Indonesian beef processors.

“The problem is if we only export to those 25, that will reduce export to Indonesia drastically,” he said.

“If we are not there, it will put pressure on the Indonesian government to import live cattle from elsewhere.

“The only way to help the situation in Indonesia is to be involved.”

Last year the Lovelocks sold the top-priced bull at the bull sale for $3500.

“That sort of money has to be invested,” David said.

David added that Cattle Council did not support the Federal Government’s push for MLA to use its funds to support the cattle stranded in holding yards because of the Government’s suspension.

“The cattle are caught in the yards because the Government made a decision to suspend trade,” he said.

“MLA is happy to spend money on getting the trade going again, but we do not agree that levy money should be used to fix a Government decision.”

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