China Begins Imports of Australian Live Cattle

CHINA - The first shipment of Australian live cattle arrived in China on Wednesday, as part of a landmark deal that opens the doors to China's huge beef market for Australian farmers.
calendar icon 23 October 2015
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The first batch of 150 head of cattle arrived in southwest China's Chongqing, one of the three cities designated to receive the imported cattle, early Wednesday morning.

Consumers are expected to benefit from improved taste resulting from the live imports. "As early as next month, Chongqing residents will be able to enjoy locally-butchered Australian beef... that tastes better than the frozen beef butchered and processed in Australia," said Luo Cheng, head of Fengdu County in Chongqing.

The cattle have to be isolated for quarantine purpose before they can be sent to the slaughter house.

Chongqing Hondo, the company that purchased the cattle, said the price of the beef from imported live cattle, which does not incur any cold chain costs, would not be much higher than imported frozen beef.

China has imported cattle for breeding purposes as well as milk cows from Australia, but has never imported live cattle for slaughter on large scale.

China and Australia signed a deal last year that involved shipping 1 million head of Australian cattle to China each year, which is expected to bring a business boom to Australia's farming sector while meeting China's demands for high-quality beef.

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