Kazakhstan to ban live animal exports

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan plans to ban live animal exports, reported the Ministry of Agriculture press service. Last year, the country exported 156,000 head of cattle, 78 percent of which were sent to Uzbekistan and 14 percent to Armenia.

Approximately 264,000 head of sheep were exported, more than half of which were breeding stock. More than 200,000 sheep (76 percent) were shipped to Uzbekistan. Russia purchased 21,500 head of small breed of cattle; Azerbaijan, 18,000 head of cattle and Iran, 12,000 head of cattle.

“Live animal export for further processing and resale provided speculative growth of prices for meat. The local meat processing enterprises and feedlots do not have a sufficient amount of products and the result is the shortage of raw products,” according to the release.

The government is seeking to increase processed product exports by more than 2.5 times as part of the State Agro-Industrial Complex Development Programme for 2017-2021. The ministry must take measures regarding the current situation.

The Ministries of Agriculture and Finance agreed to amend the joint order “On some issues of animal export” based on appeals from feedlots and meat processing plants. The order previously placed temporary limits merely on exporting breeding stock and the changes completely ban live animal export.

Industry expert organisations, local executive bodies and the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs responded positively to the draft document. The interdepartmental commission on foreign trade policy and participating international economic organisations also approved the document, which is now being considered by government agencies.

The changes allow preserving and increasing the number of livestock in the coming years, providing domestic meat processing plants with high-quality raw products at affordable prices and increasing production and export of processed products.

A ban on live animal exports will help lower meat prices in the domestic market, said Kazakh Meat Union Chairperson of the Board Assylzhan Mamytbekov at the Jan. 20 press conference. Prices will not fall and only the resellers’ margins will increase.