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Ministry In Talks About Indonesian Beef Restrictions

10 August 2010

INDONESIA - The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it's concerned about Indonesia's decision to restrict imports of Australian boxed beef and live cattle exports.

Indonesia has dramatically slashed the amount of product it will import, saying it wants Indonesian farmers to become self sufficient and develop their own industry. The Department says embassy officials in Jakarta continue to talk to the Indonesian Government about Australia's ability to supply "quality, disease-free cattle and boxed beef."

A DFAT spokesman told ABC News that he is aware that Indonesia has recently restricted the number of live cattle import permits.

"The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Stephen Smith raised this matter with Indonesia's Trade Minister, Dr Pangestu, during a visit to Jakarta on July 15," he says. "It will be important to ensure that any actions taken by Indonesia are in line with its World Trade Organisation obligations."

The Department has also confirmed imports of boxed beef will be restricted.

"We also understand the Indonesian Directorate General of Livestock Services (DGLS) is likely to limit imports of boxed beef imports for the remainder of 2010," a spokesman says.

The issue started in May when Indonesia placed an import restriction on live cattle weighing more than 350kg. It has forced heavy cattle back onto the Australian market.

The spokesman says Australian industry is "ready and willing" to provide meat for Indonesia as the country enters the religious month of Ramadan.

"The Australian Government and Australian industry continue to work with the Indonesian Government to understand this import requirements to ensure this mutually beneficial trade remains profitable and sustainable," the DFAT spokesman says.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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