WINDHOEK, 19 NOV (NAMPA) -
The implementation of the new import conditions for livestock exports from Namibia to South Africa will come into effect as from 09 May 2016.
This comes after South Africa's National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries decided that the current requirements for the import of cattle, sheep and goats from Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland needed to be reviewed.
Amongst other requirements, rules include that animals should never have been vaccinated against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD); should have been vaccinated against Anthrax at least 14 days, but not longer than 12 months, prior to import; and that the animals should have been treated for internal parasites (cestodes, trematodes and nematodes) and external parasites (lice and ticks) with registered effective remedies within 72 hours prior to departure.
The Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) on Friday in its newsletter said President Hage Geingob was informed about the situation and was asked to take the matter up with the government of South Africa. The government of South Africa has notified the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) committee regarding the implementation of the new import conditions, according to the union.
Meanwhile, the Meat Board of Namibia in a media statement issued on Tuesday said should such new rules be implemented, the export of Namibian animals will be subjected to very strict tests for animal health. "All comments on the notice to the WTO's SPS committee must be handed in by 09 January 2016, while the proposed date for the implementation of the new conditions is 09 May 2016. These conditions do not differ much from the conditions as proposed in April 2015 that were released for public comment," the Board stressed.
The NAU said on Friday that a two-month period, ending 08 January 2016, will allow the local livestock industry to comment on these regulations. With regards to a grace period, the NAU stated that four months will follow, whereafter the import regulations will be fully implemented in May 2016. The revised regulations have not changed from the previous publication on which the public has already commented on, according to the NAU.
"Various actions have been initiated by the Livestock Producers Organisation (LPO) to address this issue. Furthermore, NAU asked its sister organisation, Agri SA for support. The livestock industry will meet this week to discuss the road forward in an attempt to mitigate the impact of the implementation of these import requirements," it stressed.
The export of Namibian livestock to South Africa will affect approximately 180 000 weaners, a total of 90 000 sheep and 250 000 goats per year.