Indonesia

Indonesia reported to have suspended Indian buffalo meat imports over COVID concerns

Beef Central, 19/05/2021

The rapidly deteriorating coronavirus pandemic in India has prompted Indonesia to impose a temporary halt on imports of Indian buffalo meat, according to a news wire report.

Indian buffalo meat in Indonesia. Picture: Dr Ross Ainsworth

The chief executive of Indonesia’s food procurement agency Bulog informed Indonesia’s parliament of the suspension on Tuesday, Reuters has reported.

“Due to the lockdown… plus the development of the COVID-19 virus in India… we temporarily stopped the (buffalo meat) import plan,” chief executive Budi Waseso said, according to the news agency.

It came as India’s total coronavirus cases surged past the 25 million mark on Tuesday, boosted by 263,533 new infections over the last 24 hours, while deaths from COVID-19 rose by a record 4,329.

Rumours that Indonesia was considering temporarily halting buffalo meat imports from India have been circulating for some weeks in Indonesia as the coronavirus situation on the sub-continent has worsened, according to Australian livestock export trade sources.

Despite the indication that Indonesia has now taken that step there has as of yet been no public detail from either the Indonesian Government or Bulog to provide any further indication as to the how long the suspension may last and what it may mean for  meat supplies in Indonesia.

Quoting Budi Waseso, Reuters reported that Indonesia has imported 13,000 tonnes of water buffalo meat so far this year.

That compares to a total volume of permits issued by Indonesia this year for 100,000 tonnes of Brazilian beef and water buffalo meat from India for this year.

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