Author Topic: Indonesia refuses to budge on banned cattle 21.9.2012  (Read 651 times)

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Indonesia refuses to budge on banned cattle 21.9.2012
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 12:23:19 AM »
INDONESIA'S agriculture minister is refusing to budge on the banning of more than 11,000 Australian breeding cattle in a new trade dispute between the countries.   The $35 million a year export business is at a standstill because the Indonesian agricultural quarantine service has rejected breeding certification it previously accepted for imported Australian breed stock.

Unless the dispute can be resolved, many of the 11,050 breeders imported to improve the Indonesian beef herd are likely to be slaughtered for meat, after they have calved.

While the Agriculture Ministry publicly insists the rejected animals must be removed, they cannot be sent home because of Australia's quarantine rules and re-export to third countries is extremely difficult under Indonesian rules.

The Agriculture Ministry was not contactable yesterday because of an election holiday, but sources close to talks on the problem said Minister Suswono has insisted the ban on the stranded breeding cows would remain.
         
Australia's Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig says certification is a commercial matter, but Elders chief executive Malcolm Jackman yesterday called on Canberra and Jakarta governments for "some heavy lifting" to resolve the problem.

Mr Jackman, whose company is one of the biggest cattle shippers to Indonesia, blamed the new dispute on bad blood caused by Australia's temporary ban on the Indonesian live trade last year in response to slaughterhouse cruelty allegations.

"I don't think that our relationship, the Australian-Indonesian relationship is in particularly good shape at the moment either," he told ABC radio.

"I think people are still smarting on both sides over the implications of the (2011) ban."

Mr Suswono's intervention in talks between his ministry and Apfindo, the Indonesian association representing the cattle importers, is likely to make the dispute more difficult to resolve.

Mr Suswono was critical of Senator Ludwig's unilateral ban on the live trade last June and has since been in the forefront of the push to reduce Indonesia's reliance on Australian beef and cattle imports.

Importers and shippers insist his ministry's new regulation requiring pedigree certification is impossible for the Top End cattle industry.

The regulation was introduced in April but not notified to the industry until early last month when a shipment was refused clearance -- those cattle and another 8000 already arrived are being held in quarantine while the dispute continues.

The exporters have denied allegations by Animals Australia that breeding cattle are being shipped to Indonesia for slaughter, because they are not covered by the regulated system Canberra imposed following the scandal last year.

"Animals Australia raised with Minister Ludwig our concerns that supposed 'breeder cattle' were being sent by exporters to circumvent the new regulatory supply chain measures in place for exported slaughter cattle," Animals Australia campaign director Lyn White wrote.

Australian Livestock Exporters Council chief executive Alison Penfold said the allegation was "simply wrong" and challenged Ms White to produce any evidence.

Although the Agriculture Department had not yet regulated to bring breeding cattle within the Export Supply Chain Assurance System, Ms Penfold said, exporters had all agreed voluntarily to apply ESCAS to breed stock sent to Indonesia.

A spokesperson for Mr Ludwig said last night the department had reviewed the complaint but "Animals Australia did not provide sufficient evidence to support the allegation".

The department told Animals Australia it would investigate any further evidence provided but so far had not received any.

Animals Australia last night stood by its claims. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/indonesia-refuses-to-budge-on-banned-cattle/story-fn59nm2j-1226478471988
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 10:17:20 AM by WA Export News »