December 30, 2003

 

 

Stringent Beef Checks At Indonesian Ports

 

Indonesian customs is conducting more stringent checks on beef and beef by-products imports following the mad cow case in the United States, a spokesman said.

 

"We are working closely with the quarantine office. Shortly after imported goods arrive at ports, we check them intensively," Director General of Customs Eddy Abdurrahman said here Monday.

 

Imported meat products usually enter the country through big ports such as Tanjung Priok in Jakarta, Tanjung Perak in Surabaya, East Java, and Belawan in Medan, North Sumatra.

 

Eddy said the Agriculture Ministry was continuously providing information on the possibility of an epidemic of any deadly animal disease.

 

"They always give us information. When there is an epidemic, they immediately inform us," Eddy said.

 

Asked by how much the state would lose in revenue from beef import duties, Eddy said this had yet to be calculated.

 

"But the most important thing is not the loss of revenue but the protection of the community's and farmers' health," he said.

 

The Agriculture Ministry was playing an important role in keeping Indonesia free from animal- or plant-carried lethal diseases, including mad cow disease, Eddy said.

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