Australian kangaroo exporters look to hop into meat-hungry China

Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:58am EST
 
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By Colin Packham

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Once considered pet food, kangaroo meat could soon be sold to China as a luxury product, to encourage Chinese consumers to do something few Australians will - eat it.

With a booming middle class, China's appetite for meat is expected to rise nearly 17 percent over the next eight years, the World Trade Organization says.

Exporters do not yet have permission to sell kangaroo meat to China but recent comments by Australian officials have put the industry in a bullish mood.

"This is something that ticks a whole range of boxes," Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

"I'm going to try and look at further discussions with the Chinese because I think there is a big prospect for a market there."

Wang Jun, the owner of a small restaurant in Beijing, said he would be keen to try kangaroo.

"Why not? As long as it is delicious," Wang said.

Beef, pork and chicken are staples in China but some diners also tuck into cat, rat, dog and more exotic animals in the belief that they have medicinal qualities. Still, not everyone may be so adventurous when it comes to kangaroo.   Continued...

 
Butcher Trevor Hart cuts up kangaroo meat at a meat packing and distribution warehouse in western Sydney November 6, 2013. REUTERS/David Gray