Top cattle producer says industry in limbo

Australia's largest cattle producer is urging the Federal Government to move quickly in dealing with suspension of the live trade to Indonesia.

Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig announced the suspension last week after the ABC's Four Corners revealed Australian cattle were being tortured in some Indonesian abattoirs.

The Australian Agriculture Company (AACo), which operates 18 cattle stations, has issued a profit downgrade on the back of the suspension.

Chief executive David Farley told Inside Business he was appalled by the cruelty, but the Government now needs to move quickly on a timetable to resume trade with the abattoirs that have the right standards.

"We're dealing with living, breathing animals that are positioned, ready to go, decisions need to be made," he said.

"Do we feed them in the yards? Do we disband these animals? Do we put them back on trucks? Do we send them south? What decisions need to be made today?" Mr Farley says the whole industry is now waiting for direction from the Government.

"We need to know a timetable, we need to know terms, conditions, accreditation, what is the process required to get this going again?" he said.

"There's many, many tens of thousands of head of cattle at the moment literally directed north, directed to Indonesia and the industry at the moment is sitting in bated breath.

"It's idle and the only people that can give it direction is the Prime Minister and Joe Ludwig himself." The ABC has tried several times to seek a response from Mr Ludwig on issues relating to the suspension of the trade to Indonesia, including the outcomes of a meeting with the industry on Friday.

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