Indonesia reveals more cases of disease in cattle from Australia

He added that “communication and close cooperation with the Australian government is continuing, given both countries are dependent on each other with regards to the trade, particularly [the trade of] cattle and beef”.


Contacted on Saturday, a spokesperson for Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said it was seeking details from its Indonesian counterpart about the newly announced cases.

“We remain confident that Australia remains LSD-free,” the spokesperson said.

With a 60-day investigation under way in Australia and Indonesia, Malaysia’s Department of Veterinary Services issued an order suspending live cattle and buffalo imports from Australia on August 4 in reaction to the measures taken by Jakarta.

“This suspension was taken as a precautionary measure in case the Indonesian authorities’ claims are true, given that Malaysia also imports cattle and buffalo from Australia,” it said in a statement.

The Malaysian government department was awaiting a full report from Australia, which had agreed to share initial findings from an investigation into the positive tests in Indonesia, it said on Thursday.

Australia’s chief veterinary officer Mark Schipp has urged Malaysia to lift its import restrictions, desperate to avoid a domino effect where other larger trade partners also impose suspensions.

Testing has been taking place at the northern Australian cattle yards from where the infected animals originated.

“We do not have lumpy skin disease in Australia,” Watt told reporters on Thursday.

Cattle bound for the live export trade at an export yard south of Darwin.Credit: Glenn Campbell/File

“The testing results are starting to come in and there is nothing that we have seen so far to alter our position that Australia is free of lumpy skin disease.

“We can’t control the actions of other countries and they’re within their rights to ask us to demonstrate the disease-free status of our cattle in Australia, and that’s what we’re doing now.”

Indonesia is by far Australia’s largest live cattle export market, with 337,456 cattle sent there in the 12 months until June, according to Meat and Livestock Australia figures.

Malaysia is a small player by comparison, ranking sixth as an importer of Australian cattle behind China, Vietnam, Israel and the Philippines.

LSD was detected in Malaysia in 2021 and in Indonesia in early 2022. It spread subsequently to 15 Indonesian provinces and the Australian government has assisted the efforts of President Joko Widodo’s government in combatting the outbreak, providing nearly 1 million vaccine doses.

Indonesia is continuing to accept cattle from 56 other Australian exporters while pausing delivery from the four yards under investigation.

Wisnu said stricter quarantine procedures, in the form of testing for cattle showing symptoms, had been put in place for all Australian imports.

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