Wed, 18 Apr 2018
AUSTRALIA - Two Australian abattoirs have been allowed to recommence trade with Malaysia while others remain locked out, eight months after a temporary ban was put in place.
In August 2017, the Malaysian Department of Veterinary Services suspended beef imports from three abattoirs with issues surrounding Halal certification.
Since then a total of six processing plants have been delisted and are unable to export beef to that country.
ABC Rural can confirm that one abattoir in Queensland and another in Victoria were relisted on 5 April.
The news came as industry representatives travelled to Malaysia to better understand the audit requirements.
In a written statement, the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) CEO Patrick Hutchinson said the council had been working hard to get the remaining delisted abattoirs back online.
"AMIC recently attended the World Halal Forum as well as meetings with JAKIM [Department of Islamic Development Malaysia] and Veterinary Services," Mr Hutchinson said.
"Malaysia is a small but niche market for Australia and has the potential to be an increasing market.
"But the ability to meet a range of [licence] requirements continues to be an issue for Australian processors."
Abattoirs still locked out of Malaysia
Queensland's Nolan Meats is one of the plants that remains unable to export beef to Malaysia, according to director Terry Nolan.
"We would put about three or four containers into Malaysia so at the moment we have to divert that to another market," he said.
"We are working through that process to get relisted, that will take some months I would think as they have to come out for re-audit."
Nolan Meats was delisted due to issues with the licence auditing process, which all plants undergo every 2-3 years to maintain access to Malaysia.
To reapply for a licence plants must undergo two audits — a religious audit and a food safety audit.
"Some plants might fail on one and pass on the other, in which case you are suspended," Mr Nolan said.
"Some plants might have a corrective action against both, in which case you are delisted.
"So we are trying to work through that issue and understand how that works.
"I would like to think in the back half of 2018 [Nolan Meats would regain access to Malaysia]."
The Federal Department of Agriculture has told ABC Rural in a written statement that 17 Australian meat establishments are currently approved to export to Malaysia.
"The Department is working with the Australian export meat industry and the Malaysian Government, using existing bilateral mechanisms, to address these non-compliances so that the remaining affected establishments may resume trade," the statement said.