Reader questions: Could Indonesia re-export beef from Australian cattle?

Beef Central, 08/10/2015

Beef Central reader Mike Mcinnerney recently posted a question to Beef Central via Facebook, asking whether it was possible for Indonesia to ‘re-export’ beef to Australia (and presumably, other countries).

“l recently read a post on Facebook making claims that beef from Australian-bred cattle exported to Indonesia was being imported back into Australia. I didn’t believe it, but would appreciate your opinion. Thank you,” he wrote

Here’s Beef Central’s response:

Thanks for your inquiry, Mike. Two-part answer, in our opinion.

If we are talking about import into Australia, as you suggest, it can’t happen – at least not legally. Indonesia is not among the countries that Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service allows beef imports from, for obvious disease risk reasons.

The only way it could happen would be through illegal/undeclared imports, which does happen occasionally, unfortunately, and at great risk to Australia’s bio-security. Reference this earlier story on Beef Central:

The other part of our response relates to the potential for ‘re-export’ of beef produced in Indonesia, using Australian cattle, to other countries (not Australia).

It’s been talked about for years, especially to other Muslim (Halal) markets. Terms like ‘Aus-Indo’ beef have even been invented over the years to describe such a trade. The reference to ‘Aus’ would obviously be designed to enhance the perception of the product in the importing country.

Has there been any evidence of it occurring? None, to our knowledge.

But if it occurred, Australia would have to scrutinise the process carefully, as it could potentially damage Australia’s clean-green reputation if a piece of Indonesian-produced beef, using Australian cattle, was found in another market (like Malaysia, for example) to be tainted in some way. Under such circumstances, it would be difficult, if not impossible to determine where the contamination occurred.

We’ll make some inquiries to see if there is any evidence of such ‘re-export’ ever occurring.






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  1. Brian Milne-Davies, 08/10/2015

    What is your understanding of the current and new reposed China – Australia Trade Agreement in relation to China being allowed to re- export imported live cattle from Australia and the processed red meat from these animals to other countries in Asia?

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