News From : DagangHalal.com (05 Jun 2009)
June 4 (Bloomberg) — Indonesia, Asia’s third-most populous country, has banned imports of beef from New Zealand, saying the meat doesn’t conform to religious certification requirements.
Indonesia issued the ban after the country’s Council of Ulemas, or MUI, said in March it doesn’t recognize any certifying bodies in New Zealand that can give assurance the meat is halal, or conforms to Islamic dietary law, Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono said.
“Since May, 76 containers of beef from New Zealand have arrived, and these need to be re-exported,” Apriyantono told a press conference in Jakarta today. New Zealand is Indonesia’s biggest overseas beef supplier. Indonesia will still permit imports of New Zealand beef that was slaughtered before March 25, the ministry said.
Indonesia on July 7 last year banned imports of New Zealand beef over what it said was improper labeling. The ban was lifted a week later after New Zealand’s promise to improve packaging.
“MUI has conducted a complete evaluation on halal certifying bodies in New Zealand and it recognizes none,” Tjeppy Soedjana, director general of livestock at the Agriculture Ministry, said today.
Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, imports beef to supplement local output.
By Yoga Rusmana