Abattoir suspends exports to Russia in MH17 protest

THE Australian Lamb Company (ALC), which owns the Colac abattoir, has suspended all exports of lamb and mutton to Russia as a protest against events following the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.

“Australian Lamb Group wants to send a very strong message to the Russian President Mr Putin that we, as an Australian company, will not abide the circumstances as they are currently unfolding with regard to the shooting down of flight MH17 and the recovery operations at the crash site,” managing director John Verrall said.

Mr Verrall told The Standard several orders now in production will be redirected to alternative destinations.

“We have been exporting to Russia for many years and we have long enjoyed a strong business relationship with our Russian customers. For that reason it is not a decision that our company has taken lightly.

“It does have repercussions for our business, but we believe that we must stand up for the Australians who have lost their lives at the hands of separatists reportedly armed and supported by President Putin,” Mr Verrall said.

“We want to support the work of the Australian government and the United Nations Security Council as they seek an independent, impartial and thorough investigation of the events that resulted in the shooting down of MH17. 

“We also want to know that the bodies of all the victims will be treated with respect and that the Australian victims are brought back to Australia as soon as possible.”

Mr Verrall said it was easy for businesses to do nothing and to go about their normal operations independent of external world and political events.

“But I feel strongly that business can lend support and weight to the work of our government in a very effective and practical manner,” he said. 

“By suspending all exports of our products to Russia we are sending a very strong message to Mr Putin and hope that such measures will encourage him to do the right and decent thing and provide all assistance and support that he can to international authorities to secure the crash site and ensure that the bodies on the site are treated with dignity and care, and repatriated back to their homelands.”

ALC bought the Colac abattoir in October last year from the CRF Group.

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