STATE Agriculture Minister John McVeigh has joined the chorus of criticisms directed at Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig over the apparent information shortfalls hampering efforts to resurrect the Russian kangaroo meat export market.
Mr McVeigh has written to Mr Ludwig demanding the federal government urgently address the information requests from the Russian government as a measure to assist restart of the devastated export kangaroo meat industry.
Mr McVeigh's call follows his meeting with Russian Ambassador Vladimir Morozov earlier this month.
"The Russian Ambassador was quite open-minded during our meeting and was keen to discuss the potential future of the kangaroo trade," he said.
"While the Russians are happy to talk to me this is predominantly a Queensland industry we are talking about I am puzzled why my very own Federal Minister for Agriculture is not as equally interested in talking with me about it.
"International trade is a responsibility of the federal government from both the Agriculture Minister (Ludwig) and Trade Minister (Craig Emerson), (who) are Queenslanders.
"As a fellow Queenslander, I appeal to them to get moving on this issue and appeal for them to listen to the message from the Russian Ambassador, and that is the Russian authorities are waiting for information from AQIS.
"This is a matter of urgency."
As previously reported by Fairfax Agricultural Media, the Kangaroo Industries Association of Australia (KIAA) president Ray Borda received an official letter in June from the deputy head of Russian biosecurity organisation, Rosselkhoznadzor, claiming Moscow was yet to receive briefings from the Australian Government about measures undertaken to meet veterinary sanitary requirements across the kangaroo industry, despite repeated requests.
This development comes despite ongoing assurances from Mr Ludwig that the Federal Government was taking all measures possible to address international concerns over the industry.
Mr Borda said he had been repeatedly informed by the Federal Government that negotiations to resume the Russian trade should remain strictly "government to government".
More than 2000 jobs and at least $150 million in export income have been lost since Australia's largest market for kangaroo meat, Russia, suspended access for product in 2009 amid hygiene and biosecurity concerns.
Mr Ludwig's office said he was yet to receive the letter. KIAA executive officer John Kelly said the industry faced ruin.
"With an El Nino coming, Queensland is staring down the barrel of a disaster," he said.
"Farmers will soon be feeding 20 million starving kangaroos and the state will have to deal with an animal welfare disaster."
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