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Russia ruins roo meat market exports

Russia ruins roo meat market exports article image

From August 1, 2009, Russia will cease to import kangaroo meat from Australia due to concerns about food safety. The method for harvesting roo meat is different from the handling of cattle, which has raised some quality issues. "They're saying that there's a systemic problem with the import of kangaroo meat into Russia and they're quoting E-coli in one shipment, so I believe it's a little bit to do with politics as well," said Tom Garrett, spokesperson for the Queensland Macropod and Wild Game Harvesters Association. The ban is a severe blow to the emerging industry, as Russia buys more than two-thirds of Australia's kangaroo supply. At present the industry is worth $270 million, employing around 4,000 people. Queensland mayor Mark O'Brien, of Murweh, has urged the state and federal government to intervene in the interim, while the harvesters find a solution to quality issues. "The Department of Primary Industries in Queensland are still working out ways where we can identify where the roos come from, the time they've been in chillers and all that sort of thing which currently doesn't exist," he said. "But that doesn't open the Russian market immediately."

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