16 Feb 2016 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 16 FEB (NAMPA) The Meat Board of Namibia has facilitated various meetings over the past two weeks to prepare meat industry stakeholders for possible adoption of the new requirements for livestock exports to South Africa.
Various livestock and meat industry stakeholders attended the meetings held to develop and implement strategies to reduce the impact of the implementation of the new proposed import conditions for livestock.
One such meeting specifically focused on the accommodation of excess weaner cattle within the country in terms of supplementary feed and lick, and the other meeting focused on the negotiations with South Africa regarding the implementation of the new measures, and the possible postponement thereof, the Meat Board said in a media statement issued on Monday.
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 not 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 South African government has acknowledged receipt of the Namibian livestock industrys comments on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) notification submitted on 08 January 2016, but has not provided any additional commentary, the Meat Board indicated.
Meanwhile, the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) last Friday in its newsletter said its president, Ryno van der Merwe took the issue up with President Hage Geingob during a visit to State House last week Wednesday.
Van der Merwe raised the concern that the possible increase in export requirements to South Africa will have dire consequences for the livestock sector by limiting farmers access to the market.
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. The livestock export industry is worth about N.dollars 2 billion per year.