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Indonesia pauses some Australian cattle imports after cows found with lumpy skin disease

Reuters - July 31, 2023

Sydney – Indonesia has paused live cattle imports from four Australian facilities after lumpy skin disease was detected in a small number of cattle some time after arrival, the Australian government said.

Australian officials were working with Indonesia to reassure market participants that all animals exported from Australia complied with Indonesian requirements, including being free of lumpy skin disease, Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said in a statement on Sunday.

Rapid diagnostic testing of cattle has begun to help restore exports from the impacted facilities, he said.

Lumpy skin disease, which causes blisters and reduces milk production, is a highly infectious viral disease affecting cattle and buffalo that is transmitted by insect biting, but which does not pose a risk to humans.

Australia is free of lumpy skin disease and cattle exports to Indonesia continues from other facilities, Mr Watt said.

Given the presence of lumpy skin disease in Indonesia, positive results in cattle after reaching Indonesia were not unexpected, Australia's chief veterinary officer Mark Schipp said. The disease was first reported in livestock in Indonesia early in 2022.

Indonesia is the largest market for Australian live cattle exports, accounting for about 56 per cent in 2021 to 2022 and worth about A$900 million (S$798 million), data showed. It is a trade that Australia's north heavily relies on.

Australia did not specify the number of shipments that will be impacted by Indonesia's decision.

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/indonesia-pauses-some-australian-cattle-imports-after-cows-found-with-lumpy-skin-diseas