The Bali administration has reduced the number of live cattle allowed for export to 55,000 in 2009 from 75,000 last year to prevent a further decline in the population of indigenous Bali cattle.
"This reduction is to protect our declining numbers of the Bali breed of cattle," Ida Bagus Alit, head of the Bali Animal Husbandry Agency, said Friday.
Alit said the Bali administration had been reducing the number of live cattle allowed for export in the last few years, citing Bylaw No. 2/2003 on the restriction of exporting female calves from Bali.
"There is actually a huge demand for the Bali cattle breed, especially from Jakarta. But we cannot fulfill all these demands unless we want to risk wiping out our cattle population," Alit said.
Bali cattle are prized among cattle ranchers due to their high fertility rate, resistance to harsh environments, adaptability and breeding rate.
In addition, their meat is considered low in fat and full of flavor compared to imported beef.
Alit said these positive qualities and an unchecked export rate of Bali cattle could cause their numbers to dwindle even further.
He said there were only 635,000 of the Bali breed of cattle left on the island.
"If we send them all out, there will be none left," Alit said.
Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said he would attempt to increase the number of cattle by increasing the number of frozen cattle semen samples to 90,000 this year from 60,000 last year.
These samples are used to produce the Bali breed by artificial insemination, a preferred method since it reduces the interval of calf births to once every 14 months from the normal rate of once every 18 months.
It is believed that it also improves the quality of the beef.
"I hope we can increase the Bali cattle population by intensifying the artificial insemination process and therefore meeting the market's demands because the Bali breed of cattle is one of our most promising sources of income," Pastika said.