Indonesians cut down on beef consumption ahead of Eid al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice. As Grace Pascoe reports this has led to a spike in prices.
Beef prices - a bone of contention in Indonesia. As the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha approaches the sacrificial cow may be off the menu for some. The Indonesian government reduced the import allowance for Australian beef - which had provided almost 40 percent of the meat. Causing prices to spike. Many are fed up including Uneng, a butcher in Jakarta. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) BUTCHER, UNENG SAYING: "Reduce the price, please. All my customers are always asking for cheaper meat. And if it's too high they buy chicken or soybeans instead." Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population All of whom want to celebrate the Feast of Sacrifice with the slaughter of cows and goats. As a way to 'meet' demand Indonesia issued an import permit for an extra 50,000 live cattle in August. But supplier Haji Doni fears there still won't be enough to go around. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) CATTLE IMPORTER AND SUPPLIER, HAJI DONI SAYING: "We will need around 500,000 or 600,000 cattle during Eid al-Adha. The situation is making cattle scarce, hence the high price." President Joko Widodo is attempting to make Indonesia more self-sufficient. But police says that's given criminals an opportunity. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) POLICE SPECIAL CRIME UNIT, MUDJIONO SAYING: "We're investigating whether there has been any involvement in market manipulation by cattle cartels, or whether there's been crimes in relation to business competition." Either way some may have to sacrifice tradition at this year's Eid al-Adha - instead of cattle.