About 11,000 cattle have been left stranded after a West Australian based livestock export company, Carpenter International, went into voluntary administration.
The cattle are now in feed lots or agistment as an administrator tries to work out who they belong to.
The cattle, most of which are dairy heifers, were bound for China under contract before the trouble began.
Accountancy firm Grant Thornton has been appointed to try and clear the mess which involves cattle from Tasmania, Victoria, and New South Wales.
Grant Thornton’s Matthew Donnelly said administrators were trying to match each cow with their former, or current, owners.
“Regulatory issues in China prohibited the customer from fulfilling its obligations under its contract , that is to pay before the cattle were on the boat,” Mr Donnelly said.
“Because of that the company were unable to fund through to delivery and that’s one of the difficulties with dealing with a foreign customer.”
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The cattle are valued at more than $15 million and the majority of the cows, around 9,000, are from Victoria.
The administrator will try and source other export markets for the cattle involved, but the price will be lower than expected compared to the original contract.
A meeting of creditors of Carpenter International will be held in Melbourne next Tuesday.
Source: ABC Rural