News From : DagangHalal.com (05 Jun 2009)
Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Indonesia has given New Zealand and Australia until October 1, 2009 to extend their halal certificates on meat they planned to export to Indonesia.
Agriculture minister Anto Apriyantono made the statement here on Thursday in connection with the holding of a number of containers of imported meat from New Zealand and Australia some time ago.
“If until October 1, 2009 no extension is made we will ban the import of meat from the two countries,” he said.
His office recently held 200 containers of imported meat from New Zealand at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta following a report from the Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI)that the meat was not halal (may not be consumed by Moslems).
The MUI said the meat was not halal because halal certificates for slaughterhouses across New Zealand had already expired and therefore license had to be extended.
Anton said that actually the total number of containers held at Tanjung Priok was 200 but only 76 came from New Zealand and Australia.
“There are three containers from Australia that have been held,” he said.
The minister said the government had an authority to regulate and cancel imported meat based on MUI`s ruling.
The director general of animal husbandry, Tjeppy D. Sudjana, said since March 25, 2009 all slaughter houses in New Zealand had been declared unaccredited by the MUI because their halal certifates were already expired and had not been renewed while only three slaughter houses in Australia had been unaccredited.
“So based on that the government has banned meat imports from New Zealand. Extension must be made and the MUI has given them until October 1, 2009,” he said.
Anton denied that the country`s supply would be affected if those two countries failed to meet the deadline.
He said supply could still be met from domestic sources or from other countries.
The head of the Association of Indonesian Meat Importers, Thomas Sembiring, said until June 1 2009 he had never received any explanation with regard to the holding of the meat.
Only on June 2 2009 was the association informed by the Tanjung Priok port`s quarantine service about a letter from the director general of animal husbandry stating the imported meat from New Zealand was not halal. (*)