Meat sales across the country have dropped 10 to 15 per cent since ABC’s Four Corners program showed footage of gross cattle slaughtering in Indonesia last Monday.
Spokesman Tom Maguire of the Australian Meat Industry Council, which represents independent butchers across the country, said he was not surprised the public had turned away from meat.
"Seeing what was the appalling and abhorrent treatment of animals upsets people’s values and makes them not want to eat meat," Maguire told ABC News Online. "There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that people are turned away from the product, as well.
“… The appalling cruelty that occurred is against Australian law."
Maguire said Australian abattoirs include fully audited systems with animals stunned prior to slaughter.
In response to the increasing pressure from the public and animal welfare groups, the Federal Government announced a ban yesterday on all live cattle exports to Indonesia.
The ban has led to job losses within the cattle industry and according to an ABC News Online report today, the Australian Agricultural Company has entered into a trading halt on the Australian stock exchange to examine how it will be affected by the ban.