Indonesia has lifted its ban on Australian cattle exports following negotiations with the Federal Government.
It comes after Indonesia introduced a pause on cattle and buffalo exports from Australia in July due to concerns over lumpy skin disease (LSD).
However, the Australian Government claims LSD has never been detected in Australia.
What’s lumpy skin disease?
LSD is a viral disease that can create significant welfare concerns for the animal.
It’s characterised by the appearance of firm, raised lumps. It’s spread by flies, mosquitoes, and ticks, and can result in limb swelling, reluctance to move, and skin infection.
The disease has been detected in Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand in recent years.
Indonesia made up 56% of Australia’s live cattle exports in the 2021/22 financial year, which resulted in nearly $1 billion in value.
In July, Indonesia detected LSD on some livestock from Australia, causing Indonesia to introduce the trade restrictions.
However, the Australian Government said the disease was only detected after the cattle had spent time in Indonesia. It maintains that the disease has never been detected in Australia.
Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt welcomed Indonesia’s decision to lift its ban. He said it was a “testament” to Australia’s “calm and considered approach in response to this issue”.
LSD is not the same as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), a highly contagious disease that can leave painful ulcers on an animal’s body. FMD has not been detected in Australia since the 1870s.
An FMD outbreak in Indonesia last year caused Australia to introduce new measures, like biosecurity protocols at airports, to avoid it entering the country. This is not related to LSD.