Live Shipment of Aussie Cattle Halted Over Alleged Ear Tag Tampering

AUSTRALIA - Australian officials have halted a proposed shipment of 5,000 cattle over allegations that ear tags had been tampered with to circumvent China’s strict import protocols.
calendar icon 13 September 2019
clock icon 1 minute read

The dairy cattle were scheduled to leave Portland in southern Victoria on the live export ship Yangtze Fortune on 23 August, bound for China as breeding stock.

Instead they spent weeks in feedlots as federal agriculture officials told the live exporter to halt the consignment following allegations of tampering.

“This decision was due to the department’s concerns that elements of China’s strict export protocols had not been adhered to in relation to this specific consignment,” a Department of Agriculture spokesperson said. “This issue does not relate to any type of disease outbreak in Australia.”

The department said it was conducting a joint investigation with Agriculture Victoria and providing regular updates to authorities in China. It said it would not comment further while the investigation was under way.

The Portland Observer newspaper reported that the cattle were filling up local feedlots, but the department said they could be moved.

“There are no current restrictions on the domestic movement of the cattle,” a spokesman said. “This is a commercial decision for the exporter.”

It was understood that ear tags, used to trace the origin of cattle, were tampered with.

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Source: The Guardian

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