The first shipment of Territory buffalo is scheduled to sale from Darwin to Vietnam today, marking the start of an exciting new export market for Northern Australia, according to NT chief minister Adam Giles.
“Buffalo are an iconic Territory animal and it’s exciting to see them headed to Vietnam for the first time,” Mr Giles said.
“Final negotiations on this project were held during my visit to Vietnam last year and I am thrilled to see more than 200 farmed buffalo setting off to Hai Phong City so soon.
“Vietnam is already the second largest importer of Northern Territory cattle behind Indonesia but it has never been an export destination for buffalo before now.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the Territory’s live animal export industry to diversify its customer and product base.
“These Vietnam-bound buffalo were mostly sourced from a domesticated herd at Swim Creek station on the Mary River Flood Plains.
“Down the track there will also be huge opportunities for Indigenous communities to harvest buffalo from wild herds on Aboriginal land.
“Only the Country Liberals Government is supporting Indigenous economic opportunity and fostering job creation right across the Territory, including the bush.
“Exploring new markets for Territory products like buffalo will be a key focus for the Giles Government as we look to maximise our development potential in the North Australia Century.
“Two thirds of the World’s middle class will live in Asia by the year 2030 and this rapidly growing population urgently needs to find new, secure sources of food. Northern Australia has a huge role to play in meeting this demand.
The new health protocol for feeder and slaughter buffalo was finalised in January this year after lobbying by Mr Giles during his official visit to Vietnam last October.
“This has made it possible for exporters to establish approved supply chains and begin exporting buffalo to Vietnam,” Primary Industry Minister Willem Westra Van Holthe said.
“On conservative estimates, the Territory buffalo industry could supply around 1000 head per month to live export, drawing from 100,000 animals in the wild and 10,000 farmed animals.
“Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries personnel will provide Vietnamese importers with technical advice and assistance in animal management, nutrition, animal handling and feedlot management prior to and following shipment of buffalo from the Territory.”
The Northern Territory has previously exported buffalo to Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines.
Source: NT Chief Minister's office