LIVESTOCK industry heads have stressed Australian cattle bound for Pakistan are not to be slaughtered but used for milk production.Australian Livestock Exporters Council chairman Peter Kane said in a press conference this morning that the dairy cattle en route to Pakistan were not headed for the Sindh Government's jurisdiction where 22,000 Australian sheep were recently culled.
"The dairy cattle going to Pakistan are not going to the Sindh Government, they are going to a Federal Government program to provide milk to many parts of the country," Mr Kane said.
National Farmers' Federation president Jock Laurie said the exporter Elders would be "working overtime" to ensure there would "not be a problem with that load".
"The exporters are confident they can deal with those cattle and do it properly," he said.
ABC's Four Corners last night revealed Elders was preparing to export a shipment of nearly 3000 Australian breeder cows, 2000 of which would be sent to Pakistan to be under the supervision of the Sindh Government department.
The program aired graphic footage of about 22,000 Australian sheep, rejected from Bahrain due to alleged health concerns, being brutally slaughtered under the command of the Sindh government, prompting many animal welfare activists to call for a ban on the live export trade.
Mr Kane said members of the exporters' council had decided to suspend sheep trade to the Pakistan and Bahrain markets.
Mr Laurie added the live exports industry was prepared to make hard decisions on markets whose operations they were not happy with.
"The industry is not prepared to put up with that sort of thing," Mr Laurie said of the Pakistan incident.
"The new system (the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System) . . . will increase animal welfare in countries where it has not been before.
"Australia should be very proud of that.
"But we need to identify problems and enhance the system.
"The industry is prepared to make decisions, as we have done (with Pakistan)."
Mr Laurie said he didn't think anybody fully understood what had happened in Pakistan yet, adding the exporter Wellard was "just as horrified as everybody else" with the outcome.
The NFF president asked Australians to understand an investigation into the incident was underway.