In 2011 the Gillard Government suspended live exports of cattle to Indonesia, after strong public backlash to footage of animal cruelty in Indonesian abattoirs. This decision was the subject of a landmark ruling by the Federal Court in June 2020. In Brett Cattle Company Pty Ltd v Minister for Agriculture the Court held that by implementing the ban, the then Minister for Agriculture committed misfeasance, or misuse of public office. The Attorney-General has since released a statement announcing that the government will not appeal the decision. The ruling has been commended by major agricultural industry bodies, such as the Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) and the National Farmers Federation. The lead litigants in the case, the Brett Cattle Company were awarded $3 million in damages and it is understood that the decision will pave the way for a class action involving hundreds of Australians. The CCA noted the widespread financial devastation caused by the 2011 export ban and stated that 9 years later Australia is still repairing its relationship with Indonesia. The Federal Court decision and subsequent acceptance by the government has received strong support from the industry.

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