Agriculture officials investigate possible live export breaches in Indonesia

Australian cattle is reportedly being slaughtered in Indonesia in breach of Australia's live export conditions. Source: The Guardian Australia

Agriculture officials and live export industry leaders are investigating how Australian cattle ended up being brutally slaughtered in Indonesia last month.

Australian live animal exports are under pressure again after footage emerged of cattle being slaughtered during an Islamic festival in Indonesia.

Agriculture department officials are investigating how the Australian animals ended up being killed in a car park in northern Sumatra last month.

Livestock Exporters Council chief executive Mark Harvey-Sutton said his members were also trying to determine how the cattle left the supply chain.

The latest controversy comes as federal parliament prepares to pass laws reinstating a permanent independent inspector-general to police the controversial trade.

The Morrison government decided to reinstate the inspector-general after the trade was rocked last year by shocking footage of sheep dying in sweltering conditions on a voyage to the Middle East.

Mr Harvey-Sutton said the treatment of the Australian cattle in Indonesia was unacceptable and immediate action was required.

"Situations like this are extremely rare when you put it in the context of 600,000 animals being exported to that market each year," he told ABC radio on Thursday.

"That doesn't excuse it, but I think we do need to put it in context."

Sheep make their way onto a livestock vessel at the Fremantle wharf.
Sheep make their way onto a livestock vessel at the Fremantle wharf.

The Department of Agriculture remains tight-lipped on its inquiries.

"It is not appropriate for the department to provide comment on ongoing investigations," a spokesman told AAP.

"The department encourages the reporting of suspected breaches regardless of their origin."

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