ON HOLD: Feedlots across the Southern Downs could be at risk, following Chinese authorities’ ban on John Dee’s exports. Picture: contributed
ON HOLD: Feedlots across the Southern Downs could be at risk, following Chinese authorities’ ban on John Dee’s exports. Picture: contributed

John Dee export ban to rock region’s beef industry

THE Southern Downs beef industry could face a wave of new challenges under the forced suspension of Warwick abattoir John Dee's Chinese exports.

The meat processor confirmed on Friday their exports to the overseas trading hub would be suspended indefinitely, after Chinese authorities detected a "naturally occurring" substance in a shipment.

According to B Feeders managing director Ben Maher, the ban will make it increasingly difficult for other Southern Downs feedlots to export their product to China.

"Fortunately, we're very lucky at the moment because it doesn't affect us directly, but it will certainly have a broader impact across the Downs," Mr Maher said.

"The only option is to try and get cattle processed somewhere else to go to China, which would be very hard I imagine, because there's increasingly limited places to do that.

"Depending on how long it goes on for, some of them will be able to just keep feeding those cattle and keep them going, but not everyone will be able to do that - it'll be significant."

China banned exports from another four Australian abattoirs earlier this year over alleged labelling issues, which left John Dee as one of the few meat processors still trading with the nation.

Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said his office would work to get John Dee exports back into the Chinese market as soon as possible.

"I have spoken to the establishment and they believe they have traced the source of this substance," Mr Littleproud said.

"We understand that this substance can occur naturally in some stockfeed and my department is working with the establishment to give Chinese authorities assurance around this incident, and to have the establishment relisted after appropriate investigation."

John Dee was contacted for comment but did not respond before the Daily News' deadline.



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