China receives first batch of Australian live cattle

Australia Cows Ian Sanderson FlickrThis is the first time China is importing live cattle on a large scale from Australia. (Image source: Ian Sanderson/Flickr)Following a deal signed in 2014, China has finally imported the first batch of live cattle from Australia

The two countries had signed a deal last year that allowed for the shipping of one million head of Australian cattle to China every year. While meeting China’s increasing demand for high-quality beef, it is also expected to greatly benefit Australia’s livestock farming sector.

The first shipment of Australian live cattle arrived in China in late October. The batch of 150 head of cattle arrived in Chongqing in southwest China, which is one of the three cities designated to receive the imported cattle. The cattle had to first be isolated to be quarantined, before they could be sent to the slaughter house for butchering.

Beef consumers in China are expected to benefit from improved taste resulting from the live imports. “As early as next month, Chongqing residents will be able to enjoy locally-butchered Australian beef,” said Luo Cheng, head of Fengdu County in Chongqing, adding that it “tastes better than the frozen beef butchered and processed in Australia.”

Chongqing Hondo, the company that purchased the cattle, said that he price of the beef from imported live cattle would not be much higher than imported frozen beef, since it does not incur any cold chain costs.

China has previously imported milk cows from Australia, as well as cattle for breeding purposes, but has never imported live cattle for slaughter on a large scale before.

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