Live Export

First Indo ship since ban to leave Darwin today

James Nason, 09/08/2011

The Sahiwal ExpressThe first shipment of Australian live cattle to Indonesia since the June 7 export suspension will set sail from Darwin today.

The Sahiwal Express is due to arrive in Darwin port this morning to be loaded with 3000 Brahman and Brahman cross cattle owned by Elders before departing for the Sumatran port of Panjang tonight.

The Elders shipment is the first to Indonesia since the Federal Government stopped all live exports to the market 10 weeks ago until closed- and welfare-assured supply chains could be established.

The cattle have been held and fed in an AQIS accredited export yard in Darwin since the June 7 ban, which was imposed one day before the consignment was due to be shipped to Indonesia. 

The timing of the shipment means the consignment still falls within the acceptable weight limits for the Indonesian market, which imposes a maximum 350kg cap on cattle imports.

Under new Federal Government conditions exporters must be able to prove that they can trace and account for every animal through each stage of the Indonesian value-adding chain.

Elders will ship the cattle to Panjang Port before transportation to its own feedlot at Central Lampung in Sumatra. The cattle will remain on feed for three months before being processed at Elders’ abattoir at Bogor in West Java.

“It is a small step but a significant step for the reopening of the trade routes with live cattle to Indonesia,” an Elders spokesman told Beef Central today.

While the company’s focus was primarily on seeing this shipment off, he said Elders was also looking at permits for additional shipments.

Wellard submits application

Wellard Rural Exports has confirmed that it has lodged an application with the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to export 7000 cattle to two clients in Indonesia.

The animal welfare and livestock traceability systems at both clients’ feedlots and abattoirs had been independently audited and verified, the company said.

Depending on the timing of Government approval, Wellard hopes to resume shipping to Indonesia by mid to late August.

Wellard Rural Exports managing director Steve Meerwald said he was confident the export application met the Federal Government’s new traceability and welfare requirements.

“Wellard wants to get cattle across Northern Australian moving as soon as possible and the Federal Department of Agriculture has indicated it will treat this application with appropriate urgency while maintaining the integrity of the application process,” Mr Meerwald said.

Another WA-based exporter, International Livestock Exports, told ABC Radio it is also waiting on Federal Government approval for a planned shipment to Indonesia from Broome this weekend and another shipment from Wyndham on August 20.

Karumba Livestock Exports will also send a small shipment of breeder cattle to Indonesia from the Queensland Gulf port of Kurumba today. 

DAFF: Several applications received

A spokesman from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said a number of exporters had submitted a Notice of Intention (NOI) to, but the department could not divulge the actual number due to commercial-in-confidence issues. 

Officials had been working closely with each exporter in each case to check that they had provided and completed all necessary documentation, and that their appliations met the requirements of the new regulatory framework.

"Parties applying to the department for approvals to export goods generally approach the department on a commercial-in-confidence basis,," the spokesperson said.

"The department's usual practice is, therefore, not to comment on specific applications."

To obtain permission to send a consignment, exporters had to submit and receive approval for a Notice of Intention to Export, obtain an export permit after all stages of preparation for export were completed and the animals were satisfactorily loaded onto the ship.


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