JAPANESE beef is now on the menu for Australian importers.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources last week approved the recommencement of chilled or frozen beef imports from Japan after nearly 17 years.
International media has widely reported that the ban was imposed in September 2001 after an outbreak of mad cow disease in Japan.
A statement from DAWR said the decision to allow imports of Japanese beef again followed a comprehensive risk analysis that assessed the biosecurity and health risks associated with importing beef products from Japan and other countries.
This analysis was followed by an in-depth evaluation of Japan’s animal health status and export systems, with both the evaluation and review finding that trade would be safe.
“Throughout the review process, the department consulted widely with industry and other interested stakeholders,” the statement said.
“If and when trade occurs is a commercial decision between importers in Australia and exporters in Japan.”
Japan is Australia’s largest destination for export beef, with the trade worth $1.9bn in 2016-17, according to the latest trade information from the Department of Foreign Affairs and trade.
Beef was the third biggest Australian export to Japan (by value) over the year, preceded by coal ($15.2bn) and iron ore and concentrates ($5.4bn).