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The RSPCA is calling on both the Federal and Northern Territory Government to put their money on the table if they are serious about animal welfare and invest in the proposed development of a Darwin-based abattoir. The RSPCA believes that the welfare of Australian cattle will be vastly improved as a result of this development.

Heather Neil, CEO of RSPCA Australia, said the abattoir proposed by Australian Agricultural Company AACo is where funding is needed if a viable long-term solution for the northern Australia cattle industry is to be reached.

“Millions of dollars have been invested by the Federal Government to prop up the live export industry. But if the Government is serious about improving animal welfare, investing in an abattoir on Australian soil controlled under Australian law is surely the best place to be spending tax payer dollars,” said Ms Neil.   

“This development will make a huge difference to animal welfare and give cattle producers in northern Australia new options. 

“Currently, cattle in the Northern Territory, northern Western Australia and western Queensland that are not suited for the live export market must travel thousands of kilometres to the nearest abattoir.

“From a cattle producer perspective now is the perfect time for an abattoir to be developed in the Top End.

“Despite some claims that the Indonesian Government has decreased its import quotas as a direct result of last year’s temporary suspension of live exports, it’s well documented that, for several years now, Indonesia is fully intent on becoming self-sufficient in beef production and it recently confirmed that it still plans to reach that goal by 2014.

“There have also been reports that the Indonesian Government now also plans to impose a five percent tariff on live cattle imports back-dated to January, costing millions of dollars. So it makes sense from both an animal welfare and economic perspective for this abattoir to be built,” said Ms Neil. 

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