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Indonesia plans to import cattle from New Zealand, beef from U.S.

Jun 13, 2011 Trade

The Indonesian government will increase live cattle imports from New Zealand and beef from the United States (U.S.) should the domestic meat supply is insufficient.

The move came following the ban of live cattle exports to Indonesia by Australia after the cattle cruelty issue in Indonesia's abattoirs, a deputy agriculture minister said here on Friday.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi told Xinhua that Indonesia has long time imported live cattle from New Zealand and beef from the U.S., and the biggest portion of the import is from Australia.

"We will boost beef supply from the U.S. and live cattle from New Zealand," he said at the Health Ministry.

The Australian government on Tuesday night suspended all live cattle exports to Indonesia, in a move that could cost the industry hundreds of millions of dollars.

The suspension came following ABC1's Four Corners last Monday released footage, which showed Australian cattle being tortured in Indonesian slaughterhouses.

The deputy minister said that Indonesia and Australia will jointly verify the accusation on the Indonesia abattoirs.

"Four Australia experts arrive today (Friday). They will start verifying the abattoirs on Monday along with their four Indonesian counterparts for ten days," said Bayu.

Indonesia is the biggest buyer of Australian live cattle, accounting for about 60 percent of the market.