Live Export

Malaysia joins Indonesia in suspending cattle from Australia

Beef Central, 10/08/2023

The challenge facing Australia to prove to trading partners it remains free of lumpy skin disease has deepened over night with confirmation that a second country has followed Indonesia in suspending cattle imports from Australia.

An Indonesian calf with lumpy skin disease.

Indonesia recently announced it will not accept cattle from four registered export facilities in northern Australia after claiming cattle exported from Australia and handled through those yards had tested positive to lumpy skin disease after arriving in Indonesia.

Now Malaysia has followed suit but taken an even bigger action by suspending all live cattle and buffalo exports from Australia.

Malaysia has imported in the vicinity of 20,000 to 30,000 head of cattle from Australia annually in recent years, but has only imported 2328 head in the first six months of 2023.

The suspensions come despite Australia having never tested positive to Lumpy Skin Disease.

Australia has ramped up monitoring and surveillance of LSD including increased testing across the north since an outbreak of the highly infectious disease was confirmed in Indonesia in March 2022.

Testing has also been underway in the four suspended facilities in Queensland, the NT and WA, with those results expected to be presented to Indonesia later this week or early next week.

Industry hopes those tests will reinforce Australia’s LSD-free status and satisfy Indonesia’s concerns and prompt it to resume full trading arrangements with Australia.

In a statement to media (reprinted below in full) Australia’s chief veterinary officer Mark Schipp said he understands Malaysia’s decision was based on Indonesia’s advice that they will not accept cattle from four specific export establishments in Australia, following the detection of LSD in exported Australian cattle after they had arrived and spent time in Indonesia.

He said the Australian Government is working to finalise the investigation into the relevant health status of the cattle herds, and confirmed he has spoken to his Malaysian counterpart and requested the import restriction be lifted immediately.

Statement from chief veterinary officer Mark Schipp

“As Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer, I can confirm that lumpy skin disease, or LSD, has never been detected in Australia, and Australia remains free from the disease.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has been advised that Malaysia has temporarily suspended live cattle and buffalo exports from Australia.

We understand this decision was based on Indonesia’s advice that they will not accept cattle from four specific export establishments following detection of LSD in exported Australian cattle after they had arrived and spent time in Indonesia.

We are working to finalise the investigation into the relevant health status of the cattle herds associated with these establishments to provide the assurances that Indonesia has requested.

Australia is urgently engaging with its Malaysian counterparts to confirm our robust animal health system, and to advise that LSD is not present in Australia.

I have made representations to my Malaysian counterpart, requesting the import restriction on live cattle and buffalo from Australia be lifted without delay. I have also confirmed to the World Organisation for Animal Health that Australia remains LSD free in accordance with international standards.

The department has briefed the industry and will continue to work closely with stakeholders to provide the necessary assurances to our trading partners on our animal health status.

While Indonesia has sought assurances that Australian cattle comply with their health requirements, it is important to recognise that Australian livestock products continue to be traded, and the detection of LSD in cattle of Australian-origin post arrival in Indonesia does not affect the animal health status of Australia.

Australia has robust biosecurity systems in place for the ongoing monitoring of Australia’s animal disease status including for LSD.

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.”

Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt this morning told media that Malaysia has decided to temporarily stop exports of live cattle and buffalo from Australia until testing is complete and “they can be shown that we don’t have LSD”.

“The testing results are starting to come in and there is nothing that we have seen so far to alter our position that Australia is free of lumpy skin disease.

“But our biosecurity officials are urgently working with both Malaysia and Indonesia to meet their requirements, to demonstrate conclusively that we don’t have lumpy skin disease, and we hope to see that trade reopen as quickly as possible.”



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  1. David Heath, 13/08/2023

    As an ‘old’ exporter, I am yet to read reports from regular Indonesian Importers on the matter, just some post-arrival monitoring by RI animal people. There appears to be some science lacking here. As for Malaysia, I offer no comment.

  2. Mawar merah., 12/08/2023

    Indonesia does not manipulate in trade., importing those cows and buffalo’s . They expect Australia, to present a truly healthy cows and buffalo’s.
    That is fair to expect that from Australia. There is something not rightly done, that the cows and buffalos exported from Australia, to arrive in short time to emerge with lumpy skin. Please Investigate thoroughly and cure it well. Got the message?

  3. Sylvia Saunders, 12/08/2023

    Well, I”d be surprised if we had it here and the next question is which of those countries have it to us?

  4. Tara van Gaalen, 12/08/2023

    This is ridiculous. Hoping the transport that theses cattle are exported in is checked thoroughly – insect infestation can withstand many cleansing methods. How long once the cattle arrive in Indonesia are the cattle left to succumb to bites from infected insects ?

  5. Cian Johnson, 11/08/2023

    As being a cattle lover I highly advise you not to take away cattle from Australia, because it is really healthy and full of vitamins, my farm is really cattle friendly

  6. Shayne Rawling, 11/08/2023

    Move all cattle into the meat processing industry and ship it to other countries in the world.

  7. mick alexander, 10/08/2023

    It maybe time for our biosecurity mob to reassess their knowledge base and go back to square one – its time to investigate the environmental factors around these cattle with LSD. If they were my animals, I would be doing a full investigation.
    1. Lets see what potential toxic substances they have been fed or come in contact with?
    2. What minerals and or vitamins are they deficient in or receiving excess?
    3. What protocols were undertaken to transport the stock to Indonesia and Malaysia?
    4. Forget about the LSD testing as it obviously does not work. Find out how to correct the toxicity or deficiency these animals are in.
    Come on people, get your act together and support our industry to solve this problem. This needs a nutritionist to solve the problem.

    • Alan Johnston, 12/08/2023

      Good chance for everyone in the beef industry in Australia to see how quick and successful the electronic tracebility is working.
      This is the same tracability system that has been scheduled for the sheep flock of Australia.
      Get a DNA test done on the LSD infected beast in Indonesia and match it via the traceability system to the property of origin.

    • Jonathan, 11/08/2023

      You do realise the cattle only tested positive to LSD after being in Indonesia with after being the operative word.

  8. MR MICHAEL TEELOW, 10/08/2023

    Indonesia has finally able to get us back with the live export ban in 2011
    What did we do to upset Malaysia

  9. Wallace Gunthorpe, 10/08/2023

    Point one is Australia is LSD free!
    Point two is I thought it was against international trade practice to ban a product from another country for a disease that is already endemic in your own country?
    Point three it looks like market manipulation!

    • Doug Miles, 12/08/2023

      100% Wallace. A very curious situation. If it did come from here, how long is the incubation period from contraction to being visually infected.

      • Wallace Gunthorpe, 13/08/2023

        Doug,incubation period can be as short as four days! So easily contracted while travelling through Indonesian waters before arrival!

    • Ronni, 11/08/2023

      I totally agree!!
      No other country has mentioned anything except for Indonesia. They should do some testing for themselves before the whole blame game pointing the finger at Australia who has always provided produce known to have one of the best qualities in the world and most importantly, LSD free!

  10. Nisha sharma, 10/08/2023

    It’s very concerning Indonesia banning on live animal export
    It could be possible that our cows are disease free but still can be susceptible to the disease especially in those areas where diease are endemic, they may quickly pick up the virus.
    Is there any ways that exported cattle can be vaccinated upon arrival into their country?

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