A senior Indonesian Government official has told local media the country is talking to the US and Columbia about taking live exports from those countries to reduce its dependency on Australian cattle.
Reuters news this week reported that Indonesia’s director general of international trade, Deddy Saleh, had told Indonesia’s business media that early talks were underway to expand beef imports from the US to include live cattle.
Similar talks were underway with Colombia, according to the report.
“We don’t have a protocol yet for import cattle with the United States and that’s the issue that we’re trying to talk about,” Mr Saleh said.
The long voyage across the Pacific Ocean from Northern and Southern America to South East Asia would add significant costs to cattle imports from those countries compared to imports from Australia which involves a comparatively short 4-5 day sea voyage.
Mr Saleh acknowledged the costs of importing cattle from the US would be high, but said it would be useful to find other sources of live cattle imports in the wake of the recent Australian suspension of exports to the market, the report said.
Meanwhile, Meat and Livestock Australia yesterday reported that the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry had received Notices of Intention to Export covering 32,100 cattle so far for September.
The Australian Live Export Council yesterday said 19,000 cattle had already been shipped to Indonesia since the ban, and several thousand were currently in the pipeline.
If all submitted Notices of Intention to export proceed in September a total of 59,060 cattle will have been delivered to Indonesia since the lifting of the ban by the close of the month.
MLA said an Industry Government Working Group has developed new animal welfare guidelines based on the Federal Government’s new regulatory framework to help exporters and importers of Australian sheep, goats and cattle to comply with appropriate animal welfare standards in all markets.
MLA said representatives had been working with exporters and importers in Indonesia to bring supply chains and animal handling practice up to accredited welfare standards, and similar programs will be rolled out across other key markets in both Asia and the Middle East.
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