Imported beef is halal, says Bulog

Senin, 29 Juli 2013 | 08:21

As consumers question the quality of imported beef, the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) declared on Thursday that meat brought in from Australia had received halal certification from Australia’s Islamic organizations.Bulog director Sutarto Alimoeso said his agency imported beef with the recommendation from the Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI). Halal food is deemed fit for Muslims to consume according to Islamic law.

The beef has secured halal certification from various Australian bodies, such as the Supreme Islamic Council of Halal Meat in Australia (SICHMA), the Islamic Coordinating Council of Victoria and the Western Australia Halal Authority (WAHA).

“We have fulfilled every requirement necessary in importing beef, including obtaining halal certification,” Sutarto told reporters.

Before Bulog started bringing in the beef, he said, the MUI had cooperated with its Australian counterparts to ensure the cattle was slaughtered via Islamic procedures.

“The Australian government has been very strict in imposing [Islamic] procedures and ensuring the health standards of the beef. There were also Indonesian quarantine officials who checked the beef,” Sutarto explained.

The government assigned Bulog to import an additional 3,000 tons of beef outside this year’s quota of 80,000 tons to prevent prices from rising during Ramadhan and Idul Fitri — when demands of the commodity usually increase — and to meet domestic needs for the rest of the year.

Previous reports said Bulog would import beef in the form of carcasses, as mentioned by Agriculture Minister Suswono and Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa. In fact, the government told Bulog to bring in only frozen secondary-cut beef.

Several associations said market vendors refused to sell imported beef as consumers questioned its halal status and hygiene.

The Indonesian Association of Meat Traders (APDI) on Wednesday stated it supported the importation of beef by Bulog to stabilize the price of beef. The group, however, was reluctant to distribute the beef because consumers doubted “its halal status, quality and hygiene”. (Anggi M. Lubis)

by Dyah Megasari