Live Export

First Indonesian shipment since ban expected next week

James Nason, 27/07/2011

The first shipment of Australian cattle to Indonesia under revised export orders is expected to sail from Darwin next week, but it could be weeks before others follow.

Elders, which owns its own feedlot and abattoir in Indonesia, is the only exporter to have lodged a notice of intention to export to date, and is expecting an export approval any time from now on.

The company has 3200 cattle, which have been held in an AQIS-approved export yard in Darwin since exports were temporarily banned on June 7, ready to ship as soon as approvals are finalised. 

The likely shipment date has been nominated as next Thursday, August 4, provided permit approvals are granted as expected.

Other major exporters which are relying on importers and owners of infrastructure within Indonesia to bring supply chains up to required standards are not as far advanced but report that progress is being made. 

A spokesperson for Wellard Rural Exports said traceability systems have been installed in the feedlots and abattoirs it will supply and has now commenced the audit process. However it was unlikely the company would be exporting “before mid-August”, he said.

AA Co said it was working with government and industry to ensure full export numbers resume quickly, but was not optimistic that exports of Australian cattle would recommence in early August.

Attempts to introduce some forms of stun guns into the market are also reportedly hitting a snag at customs level.

Indonesian customs regulations prohibit the importation of explosives, weapons, firearms and ammunition, a classification which captures gunpowder-charged hand-held stun guns.

The powder-charge guns are significantly less expensive than the pneumatically-powered alternatives, however industry sources have reported delays in getting the devices into Indonesia, with special approvals required through the Australian embassy, customs and the Indonesian police service. 

Australian Live Exporters Council chief executive Lach Mackinnon said large numbers of pneumatically powered stun guns were still going into the market.

“There are plenty of stunners going in, people have lots on back order, so it is powering ahead,” Mr Mackinnon said.

The Rural Affairs and Transport Senate Standing Committee which is investigating the industry and Government’s management of animal welfare issues in the live export trade will conduct a hearing in Darwin next Thursday, August 4.  

The month long Ramadan muslim religious festival, which triggers the peak annual period of demand for beef in Indonesia, starts this Sunday, August 1. 


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