DAY three of the Indonesian live cattle ban class action trial was dominated by the defence presenting extensive and intimate details of animal cruelty practices that underpinned the government’s sudden decision to cut off trade.
Lights in the court room were dimmed as Defence Senior Counsel Neil Williams showed selected extracts from the controversial ABC Four Corners episode of May 30, 2011 “A Bloody Business” which was also introduced into trial evidence.
Graphic images of cattle mistreatment ignited the public uproar that applied intense pressure on the former Labor government and a few days after the ABC broadcast the then Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig eventually suspended the entire market for up to six months.
The Federal Court case is being held in Sydney and seeking to prove misfeasance by the commonwealth - claiming about $600 million in damages - in Mr Ludwig’s signing of the second control order that shut trade, to try and address animal welfare standards in Indonesian abattoirs.
On day three, the plaintiff’s Senior Counsel Noel Hutley spent the day presenting his argument and allowed several Four Corners extracts to be shown to the court room.