Australia Set to Restart Cattle Exports to Indonesia

Sydney. The first shipment of Australian cattle to Indonesia following the lifting of a cruelty-linked ban will arrive in the second week of August, major exporter Elders said on Friday.

The 3,000-head consignment was approved under a strict new licensing scheme implemented after a graphic TV documentary of cruelty in Indonesian abattoirs prompted a month-long ban on shipments to the Asian nation.

Elders said it had received a third-quarter import permit from Jakarta and got the green light from Australian authorities after demonstrating it could meet stringent animal health and welfare standards.

“Due to the availability of shipping and other logistics, Elders now anticipates the shipment will be completed in the second week of August,” the agribusiness giant said.

Managing director Malcolm Jackman said Elders, which accounts for about 60 percent of the live cattle trade with Indonesia, was keenly awaiting the resumption of shipments.

“The granting of these necessary approvals is another important step towards that goal,” Jackman said.

“Northern Australia is desperately awaiting recovery in the trade and it is vital that volumes can be increased as rapidly as a sustainable solution will permit.”

Indonesia earlier this month indicated it would import 180,000 cattle from Australia in the third quarter after Canberra lifted its live export ban, and promised to audit and improve conditions at all its abattoirs.

Live exports, which also include sheep, were worth Aus$1.14 billion ($1.25 billion) to the Australian economy in 2010 according to the most recent figures. Indonesia accounted for Aus$320 million, making it the biggest market.
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