Queensland’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Steve Miles has banned the importation of raw meat and beef from banned outlets.
“The importation and distribution of meat and raw meat products from these banned outlets will not be permitted and will be banned from this state,” Mr Miles said in a statement on Wednesday.
The statement came after the Queensland Government imposed quarantine restrictions on all meat and poultry products from the banned outlets, including the biggest meat producers, and beef producers.
Meat and poultry producers are prohibited from importing, producing, exporting or using any animal product in Queensland under quarantine, including raw or unprocessed beef, pork and poultry.
Queensland has a high level of meatborne illnesses.
A number of Australian states, including Victoria, have banned the sale of meat or poultry from banned retailers.
However, in Queensland, the Government said it would not allow the import of any meat or pork from the four banned outlets and would only allow the export of beef and lamb, which can be processed into veal.
“Queenslanders will be permitted to import beef and Lamb, but will only be permitted exports and importation only of beef,” Mr Marks said.
“All raw and processed beef and Pork products will be subject to quarantine from these outlets.”
He added that all other raw and unprocessured meat and pork products would be allowed to be imported.
Under the quarantine restrictions, beef and meat products are also prohibited from being sent to China or Vietnam.
Banned retailers are banned from importing raw meat or beef from the outlets.
The Government said they would be fined $150 per day, and would also be required to provide a written statement outlining why they had been excluded from the quarantine.
The meat and chicken exporters said they were “horrified” at the ban, but hoped that the ban would not cause problems for the beef and chicken industry.
Lamb producer David Hockley said it was “hugely disappointing” that the Government had not been able to act quickly to ban the importations.
Mr Hockly said the ban was not just affecting the beef industry, but other industries in Queensland as well.
“We were expecting that a few weeks ago, but unfortunately we were told today that it will be a few months to a year and a half before this will have an impact on the industry,” Mr Hockle said.
Mr H, who owns the largest lamb producer in Queensland with a market share of over 60 per cent, said that he was “heartbroken” and would be “very disappointed” to have to start a new industry after a ban.
“It will be really devastating, it will destroy our industry, our businesses, and we will be unable to get on with the business that we’re trying to do,” he said.
In a statement, Mr Miles thanked Queenslanders for their patience and support.
“The quarantine restriction was implemented in a timely manner to protect public health and welfare and to provide an opportunity for Queenslanders to continue to have access to our meat and meat product export industry,” he added.