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UPDATE 1-Indonesia bans beef product imports from New Zealand

Thu, 4th Jun 2009 11:47

JAKARTA, June 4 (Reuters) - Indonesia has temporarily banned imports of be
ef products from New Zealand, citing failures to meet Islamic halal standards for food consumption, Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono said on Thursday.

The ban came into effect on May 25, he said.

Apriyantono said the ministry made the decision after the Ulema Council, known as MUI, declared that it did not recognise any of the halal certification agencies in New Zealand.

Unless MUI provides a guarantee that New Zealand beef imports are halal, then they will not be allowed to enter the world's most populous Muslim nation, he said.

At least 76 containers of beef from New Zealand have been held up at Indonesian ports since May 25 as their halal certification was not recognieed by MUI, said Hari Priyono, head of the animal quarantine agency at the ministry.

He said Indonesia imported about 70,000 tonnes of beef products from New Zealand and Australia a year.

Last year, Indonesia consumed a total of 396,500 tonnes of beef and beef products, and 30 percent was imported from Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Indonesia requires imported beef products to pass Islamic halal standards for food consumption. Under the halal certification rules, suppliers must print halal labels in both English and Indonesian.

(Reporting by Yayat Supriatna; Writing by Aloysius Bhui; Editing by Sara Webb)

((; +62 213846364 ext 913; Keywords: BEEF INDONESIA/

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