Opposition talks live cattle exports in Indonesia

A VISIT to Indonesia gave the Federal Opposition a chance to talk live cattle exports with senior Indonesian figures this week.

While the Coalition delegation to the south-east Asian nation did not make much headway on people smuggling, Opposition Agriculture spokesman John Cobb said he got to see the reality of Indonesian abattoirs and how much the Indonesian Government and private operators had invested in traceability and animal welfare in the past year.

"Feedlots are building what amounts to a community abattoirs with stunning equipment on site," he said.

"This allows local butchers to come to the feedlot and buy a couple of prime animals and then process them on-site in modern facilities so animal welfare can be maintained at the highest standard.

"This is step change for Indonesia and is helping to improve animal welfare standards."

Mr Cobb said as Indonesia remained Australia's largest live cattle market, the trade relationship was essential, and the Coalition was trying to improve the relationship," he said.

"There is no doubt the Coalition delegation, which won rare high level access to Indonesian heavyweights, was well received and has started the bridge-building following last year's Labor-induced diplomatic and trade disasters.

"The Indonesians have made it clear they wanted to work with us to solve the problem and get trade back up and running at full steam."