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China Starts Import of Australian Live Cattle


 China on Wednesday started the importation of live cattle from Australia, a landmark deal that opens the doors to China's huge beef market for Australian farmers.

The first batch of 150 head of cattle arrived in southwest China's Chongqing, one of the three cities designated to receive the imported cattle, early Wednesday morning. "As early as next month, Chongqing residents will be able to enjoy locally-butchered Australian beef that tastes better than the frozen beef butchered and processed in Australia," said Luo Cheng, head of Fengdu County in Chongqing.  
The cattle have to be isolated for quarantine purpose before they can be sent to the slaughter house. Chongqing Hondo, the company that purchased the cattle, said the price of the beef from imported cattle, which is spared from cold chain costs, would not be much higher than imported frozen beef.
China has imported cattle for breeding purpose as well as milk cows from Australia, but has never imported live cattle for slaughter on large scale.

China and Australia signed a deal last year that involved shipping 1 million head of Australian cattle to China each year, which is expected to bring a business boom to Australia's farming sector while meeting China's demands for high-quality beef. 

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