Brunei Darussalam
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Malaysia lifts import ban on live cattle from Australia

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – Malaysia on Wednesday lifted a ban on live cattle and buffalo imports from Australia, which had been imposed after Indonesia said it had detected lumpy skin disease (LSD) in livestock from the country, authorities said.

LSD is an infectious viral disease that causes a reduction in milk production, temporary or permanent sterility, and sometimes death of cattle but poses no risk to humans.

Malaysia imposed the temporary suspension early last month as a precaution.

“The Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) has withdrawn its order to suspend the import of live cattle and buffalo from Australia with immediate effect,” the Malaysian department said in a statement.

“The decision to lift this import ban is the result of sharing the full investigation report by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Australia after two technical discussion sessions with DVS.”

Indonesian authorities had previously said they had detected positive LSD cases in 13 cattle from Australia over several months from May, and moved to suspend imports from four facilities.

Australia’s chief veterinary officer Mark Schipp has denied LSD has ever been detected in the country’s cattle or buffalo and says it remains free of the disease.

Malaysia imports cattle and buffalo from Australia worth around USD5.5 million every year.

“DVS hopes that the decision to withdraw the import ban will give relief to the industry, and all Malaysians,” it said.

Indonesia, meanwhile, is Australia’s largest market for live cattle, and imported more than 300,000 cows from the country last year, as well as 153,000 so far this year.

Herd of cattle in the pen outdoor in Mudgee, Australia. PHOTO: ENVATO