The Department of Agriculture says it is still working closely with Japanese officials to resolve a ban placed on Australian cattle imports over a month ago.
Japan suspended all Australian cattle imports in late May after a consignment of dairy heifers from Victoria tested positive to Bovine Johne’s Disease upon arrival in the country.
The heifers had previously tested negative to BJD in two tests before leaving Australia.
Japan is one of the few countries actively trying to eradicate Johne’s disease, and therefore requires all imported cattle to test free of the disease.
Australia mostly exports high-marbling Wagyu beef feeder cattle to Japan. Dairy cattle only represent a small component of Australia’s cattle trade to the market, however the ban has been imposed on all Australian cattle.
The Department of Agriculture told Beef Central this week it is keeping the Japanese Government informed on the actions it is taking to investigate the issue.
A departmental spokesperson said Japanese authorities have completed follow-up tests, which show positive results in a number of the cattle exported.
The spokesperson said the export license under which the cattle were shipped currently remains temporarily suspended while the investigation continues.
“BJD is a complex disease and given the significance of our trade with Japan, further laboratory work is being conducted,” the spokesperson said.
“It is expected this will take a number of weeks to complete.
“An investigation is being undertaken by the department into the preparation of the consignment.
“The department is unable to provide further detail relating to this investigation, as it remains ongoing.”