Live Export

Aus cattle industry welcomes resumption of Indonesian cattle trade

Beef Central, 09/09/2023

The Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC) has welcomed an agreement between Australian and Indonesian officials to resume the trade of Australian buffalo and cattle from the seven Registered Establishments in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia that were either suspended or restricted by Indonesia.

Despite tests from Indonesia showing a small number of Australian cattle had tested positive to lumpy skin disease post-arrival in the country where the disease is widespread, follow-up testing of cattle across northern Australia has found no trace of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD).

Bambang, head of Indonesia’s Agriculture Quarantine Agency at the Agricultural Ministry, told a news conference in Indonesia on Friday evening that imports had resumed but said Australia must fulfil certain requirements, such as ensuring livestock’s health and disinfecting vessels before departure.

Reuters quoted Bambang as saying the origins of the infection were unclear, adding an Australian investigation into the matter prompted the resumption of imports.

Should there be new LSD cases, he said  Indonesia will not immediately close imports “due to the enormous impacts it has on cow importers and farmers in Australia”.

In a statement released on Friday evening ALEC said it was relieved that both Malaysia and Indonesia have accepted assurances to that effect from the Australian Government in recent days.

ALEC Chair David Galvin thanked both Australian and Indonesian officials for working closely together to resolve their technical differences and facilitate re-opening of the trade.

“Indonesia is Australia’s largest market for cattle and Indonesian families rely on Australian cattle for a consistent supply of high-quality affordable beef, so a swift, unencumbered return to trade was always in the interests of both countries.

“The trade is a longstanding one that benefits both of us and I firmly believe that strong relationship meant a mutually beneficial solution would always be found.

“The Australian Government has agreed to provide ongoing assurance to their Indonesian counterparts to reiterate and confirm Australia’s freedom from LSD. ALEC supports these efforts and offers the industry’s assistance where possible.

“On behalf of the industry, ALEC would like to thank the numerous officials and experts from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry that worked extremely hard to secure this agreement.

“We would also like to thank Prime Minister Albanese and Ministers Watt and Wong for their support in achieving this outcome.”

Statement from Minister for Agriculture Murray Watt:

“I welcome today’s announcement that Indonesia will lift its suspension of Australian live cattle and buffalo exports, with immediate effect.

“This means the live cattle and buffalo export trade from Australia to Indonesia can now resume.

“The announcement is testament to our calm and considered approach in response to this issue.

“We have always maintained that Australia is free of Lumpy Skin Disease, demonstrated by the results of extensive testing undertaken across Northern Australia.

“I want to thank everyone who played their part in getting this resolution, including the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and their departmental officials.

“I particularly want to thank DAFF officials for their ongoing hard work on this matter, particularly the delegation that went to Jakarta led by the Acting Chief Veterinary Officer Beth Cookson.

“I thank industry for their patience and co-operation throughout this time.

“And I thank our friends in Indonesia for their assistance to resolve this issue, so that this mutually beneficial trade can now resume.”

Statement from Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry:

Indonesian authorities lift trade restrictions on live cattle and buffalo exports from Australia

“The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has reached an agreement with the Indonesian Agriculture and Quarantine Agency (IAQA) that its suspensions and restrictions on live cattle and buffalo exports from a combined 7 registered establishments across northern Australia, has been lifted with immediate effect.

This follows technical discussions with Indonesian authorities in-country this week and the provision of negative test results for lumpy skin disease (LSD) in Australian cattle and buffalo, contained in our recent investigation.

The department re-confirms that LSD has never been detected in Australia and we remain free from the disease.

Indonesia’s decision to lift the suspension on 4 registered establishments, and its restrictions on a further 3 registered establishments is welcomed by the Australian Government and industry.

Our ongoing freedom from the disease, as well as other pests and diseases, emphasises the success of Australia’s robust biosecurity systems underpinning Australian agriculture trade.

The department will continue to engage with stakeholders to provide the necessary assurances to our trading partners on our animal health status.

We thank our government partners in Indonesia for their continuous cooperation and look forward to resuming the supply of healthy, high-quality Australian cattle to Indonesia.

LSD is a highly-infectious viral disease of cattle and buffalo that is transmitted by biting insects —it is not a disease that poses a risk to humans.

There is no cause for concern for Australian cattle producers as Australia remains LSD-free.”

  • Nicola Hinder PSM, Acting Deputy Secretary of the Agricultural Trade Group, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 



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  1. Ted Watkins, 09/09/2023

    Northern Australia producers need to be acutely aware of who there biggest customer is and put their greed to one side I.e. recent price spike.
    Despite the fact that LSD doesn’t exist in Australia it’s blatantly obvious Indonesia is reminding us what comes around goes around. When you are so dependent on such a big customer it might be a good idea to keep a lid on prices in the future that are equitable to both parties because now the shoe is on the other foot !

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