Australian minister welcomes ratification of historic China live export deal

Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, has welcomed the news that the Chinese Government has countersigned the Australian feeder and slaughter cattle import health protocol.

“My counterpart in China, Minister Zhi Shuping, has now ratified the agreement for export of Australian slaughter and feeder cattle to China,” Minister Joyce said.

“We now expect import permits to filter through to Australian exporters, who are getting the groundwork in place, including establishing supply chains under the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS). No exports can take place until ESCAS arrangements have been verified and approved by the Department of Agriculture to ensure Australia’s world leading animal welfare standards are maintained.

“This is fantastic news for Australian exporters—and while it will take time for significant numbers of cattle to be exported it is expected that air shipments of cattle will commence very soon.

“The Coalition Government is committed to pursuing the best market access conditions for Australian exporters, and this is another clear signal of that intent.

“China is the world’s largest agricultural importer, and as the only country to have negotiated access for live feeder/slaughter cattle to China, our industry is now in the box seat to realise the benefits of this trade into the world’s largest market.

“The China FTA will also eliminate the 10% tariff on live cattle within four years of its entry into force and this will only further enhance the attractiveness of our live cattle to Chinese importers.

“This is the seventh new livestock export market this government has opened since we were elected and potentially the most significant. We’ve achieved 42 key market access gains or restorations of suspended markets, and 14 key market access improvements or actions to maintain market access in the agriculture portfolio.

“The Coalition Government has been steadfast in our determination to seek new export markets. We will continue to back our producers and drive stronger profits back to the farmgate,” Minister Joyce said.

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