When ABC's Four Corners broadcast a program titled "A Bloody Business" at around 8.30pm on May 30 in 2011, northern cattle producers could never have anticipated the fatal cost it would have on their industry.
It broadcast scenes of animal cruelty at a number of Indonesian slaughterhouses, sparking outrage across the country and eight days later the $400 million industry (based on figures for Australia in 2010) ground to a halt.
Elders staff were attempting to load cattle onto a Falconia carrier on June 7 when government staff told them they couldn't say when, or if, they would be granted permission to load.
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A few hours later, around 9.30pm that night, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry at the time Senator Joe Ludwig registered a ban order prohibiting the export of livestock to Indonesia for six months.
In the weeks that followed the government came to the aid of farmers and workers of the live export industry offering millions of dollars in welfare packages but it equated to $237.45 a week for each eligible individual.
Graziers were "frustrated, doubtful and angered" during a public meeting in Mount Isa with Mr Ludwig in July.
Cloncurry Mayor, Andrew Daniels, was scathing in his commentary to the North Queensland Register at the time.
"The abattoirs on the Four Corners report only handle 0.04 per cent of the Australian cattle exported to Indonesia," he said.
"When we talk about social impact and infrastructure, we lose more humans in Afghanistan compared to that and nobody is stopping that.
"We should brace ourselves for a depression with the beef industry."
The ban was revoked on July 7 after the introduction of an export supply chain assurance system.
However, Indonesia still delayed issuing new import permits for the months after and looked to other countries to source cattle as a means of retaliation.
The cash-flow crisis for farming families didn't end on that date either and many are still waiting for compensation following successful lawsuits.
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