Live Export

Push for Australian-based weighing of live cattle

James Nason, 12/05/2011

The Australian live export industry is seeking to change the point at which live cattle are weighed to assess their compliance with Indonesia’s maximum 350kg weight restriction.

A decree issued by the Indonesian Government in June last year stipulates that the point of weighing for determination of compliance to the 350kg limit is in Indonesia.

The Australian live export industry, with the support of the Australian Government, is seeking a shift in the requirement to the recorded weight in Australia.

Meat and LIvestock Australia said the move was driven by the need to have more certainty about the point of weighing and to ensure the Australian industry can manage this process to meet Indonesia’s import requirements.

In some cases it can take up to 10 days after arrival for cattle to be weighed by Indonesian authorities. Given the weight cattle gain in transit and on the ground upon arrival, prolonged inspection delays could result in cattle outgrowing the required weight despite complying with Indonesian standards upon departure from Australia.

All animals are currently weighed 72 hours before export from Australia. Since Indonesia’s decree in June 1 last year, the average weight of live cattle consignments heading to Indonesia has dropped from approximately 350kg to between 290kg – 320kg. 

Meat and Livestock Australia said there have been indications from Indonesia that it may be willing to consider the weighing in Australia for compliance to the 350kg weight limit.

The director general of Indonesia’s Directorate General Livestock services (DGLS), Dr Prabowo, has been invited to visit Darwin this month to review the Australian production process and pre-export weighing with the view to shifting the weighing point to Australia. 
 

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