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Australia eyes cattle export options amid Indonesian cut
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2012, 05:39:19 PM »
Australia says it is looking to send Australian cattle to other markets because of Indonesia's plans for beef self-sufficiency. (08.06.2012)

Australia's Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig says the government is negotiating with Indonesia to lift its live cattle quota. [ABC]         
     Friday marks a year since the Australian Government imposed a temporary live export ban on trade with Indonesia because of animal cruelty concerns.

Since the one-month ban, stricter standards on slaughtering Australian cattle have been introduced and Indonesia has cut its import quota.

The Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig says the government is negotiating with Indonesia to lift its quota.

"I have recently been talking to the Indonesian Government about ensuring that there is some flexibility there," he said.

"What we do also recognise is that it is a sovereign country, it does make independent decisions and again we are looking to other markets: Egypt, Turkey and many others to provide an outlet for our cattle."Improved safeguardsAustralian cattle producers say safeguards have been significantly improved since the animal cruelty scandal a year ago.
Pastoralists are now required to track their animals from farm gate to slaughter.
Indonesian abattoirs must be also be accredited and audited.

Luke Bowen from the Northern Territory Cattleman's Association while there is no guarantee the animals will be treated humanely, the ground-shift has been extraordinary.
"At least now we have a regulatory system that is there to test the system and feed back and report back," he said.
"And we can find where the problems are when they occur from whatever means they are identified and fix them."
Beef shortageThe Chairman of the Jakarta Beef Committee says Indonesia's decision to reduce its live cattle import by up to 66 per cent from Australia is leading to a shortage of beef.

Sarman Simanjorang says Indonesia requires about 34,000 tonnes of beef to meet this year's demands, but it presently has just over 8,000 in stock.

He told Radio Australia's Indonesia Service retail prices of beef have risen by about 30 per cent and could rise to almost 200 per cent per kilogram.

Mr Simanjorang says Indonesia's decision to be self-sufficient in beef by 2014 is unrealistic, and believes the decision to cut live cattle imports is a mistake.

He says he fears for the future intellectual development of Indonesia's youth due to lack of nutritious food, particularly meat.

He says the fate of Indonesia's 4 million noodle soup vendors, who rely heavily on beef and offal products from Australia, is also a concern.

But veterinarian Viva Yoga Mauladi says Indonesia's plans for beef self-sufficiency is in line with the government program to eventually stop the importation of other commodities,

Mr Mauladi told Radio Australia's Indonesia Service the country aims to stop importing rice, milk and other food products, including frozen meat, by 2014.

He argues the current shortage of beef is because of problems with the distribution of cattle, which is farmed in rural areas, while the the highest beef consumption is in the large cities.