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Indonesia issues permits to import cattle from Australia

Indonesia issues permits to import cattle from Australia

JAKARTA: The government has issued permits for the import of 198,000 live cattle from Australia for the first quarter of this year, below the import quota of 200,000.
The Trade Ministry’s acting director general for foreign trade, Karyanto Suprih, confirmed the ministry had issued the import permits for the first three months of this year.
“The import permits for the first quarter are for around 198,000 head of cattle,” he said.
Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said earlier this month that the government expected to import 600,000 live cattle this year, with 200,000 animals set to be imported in the first quarter and another 150,000 in the second.
A number of Australian media outlets, meanwhile, have reported that the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC) has received confirmation from Indonesian government that its import quota for the first four months of this year is 200,000 cattle.
The council has also reportedly received confirmation that import permits will be allocated every four months, rather than every three.
Australia, the largest foreign supplier of live cattle to Indonesia, has previously requested that Indonesia develop an annual import quota, particularly after last year’s sudden import quota cut, which many believed was due to political tensions in light of the April execution of two Australian drug convicts.
In addition, Karyanto said the first quarter imports would go ahead despite the government’s plan to diversify cattle import sources.
Australia and New Zealand are countries close to Indonesia that have already been declared wholly foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)-free zones by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
The government has previously announced that importers may bring in live feeder cattle from countries that have not been declared wholly FMD-free zones once the government has built quarantine islands for the cattle.
The government is currently assessing Naduk Island in Bangka Belitung, Simoang Island in Southeast Sulawesi and an island in Riau Islands to be designated as a quarantine site for imported calves.
The chosen island will be a place for the feeder cattle to undergo thorough veterinary examinations and intensive treatment for animals suspected to be diseased.