Indonesian customs have seized 112 containers of bone meal from Britain, which were labelled as vegetables after tests showed it was made of beef, agriculture official said on Tuesday.
“The containers got into the country using vegetable certificate, but we recognised it after testing the sample,” said Syukur Irwantoro, head of the agricultural quarantine agency at the agriculture ministry.
Smuggling of bone meal, used in animal feed, has been rampant due to tight supplies from Australia, the country’s main supplier.
Indonesia is not importing beef and beef products, including animal feed, from Britain due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the country earlier this month.
Iwantoro said the smuggled bone meal would be destroyed.
Last September, Indonesia seized 181 containers of bone meal from Spain that were labelled as chicken meal. The official said at the time the consignment would be sent back to Spain by the importer.
Indonesia imports up to 350,000 tonnes of bone meal per year, of which half comes from Australia. New Zealand accounts for 35 percent of Indonesia’s bone meal imports, while the remaining 15 percent is supplied by US-based Baker Commodities.
Indonesia only imported beef and beef products from Australia and New Zealand after the government reimposed a temporary import ban in June 2005 following the discovery of mad cow disease in the
But Indonesia recently approved imports of beef products from Canada after the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) put the country and the United States under “controlled-risk” status for mad cow disease.
The government is also in the process of lifting a two-year ban imposed on U.S. beef imports.