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Indonesia to take 4 steps in face of Australia's cattle export halt: president

Jun 13, 2011 Trade

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Friday that the government has prepared four steps to handle Australia's cattle export halt for six months, the country's largest news portal detik.com reported here.

Prior his departure to Bali to open an art event, Yudhoyono said that the first step is that the government is working to ensure sufficiency of meat supply and stock for the next six months.

"I have ordered Coordinating Economic Minister (Hatta Rajasa) to make sure on enough supply. I also have asked governors who lead provinces with a big number of cattle to be involved in the steps," said the president in Halim Perdanakusumah Airport.

The president has also ordered Agriculture Minister Suswono and related officials to investigate and discipline domestic slaughter houses.

"I have received reports that many slaughter houses have met standards required but maybe one, or two, or three of them have not yet met the standard. I also asked (related authority) to investigate the footage taken by Australian NGO," he said.

The third step, he said, is that he has urged the country to strongly uphold "animal welfare."

And the fourth, he said, is related to mid-to-longer term policy in increasing the supply of several commodities, starting from rice, sugar, corn, soybean and meat.

"Let's make the incident a whiplash for us to seriously mobilize our ability in accelerating meat self sufficiency," he said.

The Australian government decided to stop live cattle export for six months following a spreading video of cruelty in cattle butchering process at an Indonesian slaughter house.