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Australian cattle exports banned after disease found

Murray Watt says Australia has never had a positive detection of Lumpy Skin Disease "on our shores".

Murray Watt says Australia has never had a positive detection of Lumpy Skin Disease "on our shores". Photo: AAP

The federal government is reassuring Indonesian authorities that Australian animal exports are free from the deadly Lumpy Skin Disease.

Indonesia has paused exports from four Australian facilities pending further testing of animals after a small number of exported cattle were detected with the disease.

But Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said Australia remained free of Lumpy Skin Disease.

“We have never had a positive detection on our shores,” he said in a statement.

“Australian officials are working with Indonesian authorities to reassure them that all animals exported from Australia comply with all Indonesian requirements.”

The federal government has briefed state and territory ministers, met with Australia’s ambassador to Indonesia and other departmental officers, and begun rapid diagnostic testing of cattle across northern Australia.

Senator Watt said Australian producers and the beef supply chain could be assured the government was working to resolve the issue.

The Red Meat Advisory Council and National Farmers Federation have issued a joint statement, saying the Australian cattle were found to have Lumpy Skin Disease only after they spent time in Indonesia.

“The robust systems that Australia has for the ongoing monitoring of our animal disease status supports us to trade around the world,” the council’s chairman John McKillop said.

Australian livestock products continue to be traded, including live cattle to Indonesia, the federation’s president Fiona Simson said.

– AAP

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