KUALA LUMPUR: With rising demand for high-quality beef, halal-certified beef from Argentina is now back on the menu.
According to the Argentinian embassy here, Malaysian authorities have permitted the import of Argentinian beef.
The South American nation halted exports of beef to Malaysia in 2010 due to strict halal regulations.
A Veterinary Services Department official confirmed that Argentina had been listed as an exporter of beef to Malaysia again.
The official also said that Argentina had not recorded bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) cases since 2005.
Argentinian Ambassador to Malaysia Manuel Balaguer Salas said the resumption of beef exports was due to years of negotiations.
He said Argentina had reaffirmed its interest with the reopening of the Malaysian beef market, bearing in mind the requirement to comply with halal certification.
Salas said Argentina had been given the green light to export almost all types of beef cuts to Malaysia, from premium to more affordable ones, including offal, both chilled and refrigerated.
The envoy said Malaysian authorities gave the nod for the latest version of Argentina’s National Service of Agri-Food Health and Quality sanitary certificate for refrigerated and chilled bovine meat, as well as offal.
“The Malaysian meat market has high entry requirements due to the current halal regulations.
“Argentina already has an abattoir that has double certification to export frozen beef.
“The Malaysian authorities are welcomed to inspect our other establishments as well, ” he said.
Malaysia imports 170,000 tonnes of beef a year to meet the annual demand of about 217,000 tonnes.
Argentina is one of the biggest beef exporters in the world, with a capacity to export 850,000 tonnes of beef annually.
The country also has the world’s second highest consumption rate of beef, and is home to the biggest Muslim community in Latin America.
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