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The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, and representatives of Animals Australia, the RSPCA and the Australian Meat Industry Council met the Agriculture Minister, Joe Ludwig, in Canberra this morning.

``I was greatly disappointed to learn this morning that the Government has not yet improved on its grossly inadequate decision to stop cattle exports to just 11 or so Indonesian slaughterhouses,’’ Mr Wilkie said.

He said the issue demanded an urgent response.

``The Government is continuing to show astonishing disregard for the welfare of Australian livestock and contempt for the overwhelming public concern with this matter,’’ Mr Wilkie said.

``The Government must move immediately to stop cattle exports to Indonesia and to wrap up the entire live animal export industry within three years.

``To that end the Government should put its support behind my Private Member’s Bill Live Animal Export Restriction and Prohibition Bill 2011.

``The mistreatment of Australian livestock is first and foremost a matter of ethics and it’s through that prism I’m judging the Government’s performance on this issue.

``Coming as it does at the same time as the abominable Malaysia deal I feel compelled to call on the Government to find its moral compass and to deal decisively with this cruel live animal export business.

``I have asked the Prime Minister to meet with Animals Australia and the RSPCA and I look forward to that meeting being held as soon as possible.’’

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