THE Coalition government has won Japanese approval to re-open Australia’s live cattle export trade.
In May, the market valued at more than $14 million a year was temporarily suspended in response to cattle exported from Australia testing positive for bovine Johne’s disease (BJD) on arrival in Japan.
But in a statement today, Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Barnaby Joyce said Japan and Australia had worked together to reach an agreement on improved export certification processes for all cattle consignments.
“Our trade in beef and dairy cows to Japan can begin immediately,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“To re-open markets in such a short time is a testament to the close trade relationship Australia enjoys with Japan.”
Mr Joyce said Japan was one of three key trading partners to sign a free trade agreement with Australia under the Coalition government.
“The favourable health status of Australian livestock, our stringent biosecurity system and global expertise in live cattle exports mean that we have been able to quickly and effectively address all concerns raised by Japan,” he said.
“That’s good news for our exporters, who can once again begin preparing consignments for this significant market.
“It’s good news for the nation, reaffirming the strength of our live export industry which contributed $1.9 billion to the Australian economy in 2015–16 and employed more than 10,000 people within and beyond the industry.
“The strength of Australia’s biosecurity is one of many reasons that we have such strong international demand for Australian livestock.”