20 Apr 2016 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 20 APR (NAMPA) - No date has yet been announced for the implementation of proposed import conditions for livestock to South Africa.
South Africa has not confirmed whether the Standard Handling Procedure (SOP) as communicated with the Namibian authorities was accepted or not, according to the Meat Board of Namibia.
In its latest newsletter issued on 15 April 2016, the board announced that it is still in the dark regarding the new livestock import conditions to South Africa.
With regard to the proposed South African import conditions for livestock to South Africa, no date has yet been announced for the implementation thereof.
Neither has South Africa confirmed whether the Standard Handling Procedure (SOP) as communicated with Namibia has been accepted or not, or the contents of a new official veterinary import certificate to accompany the SOP made known, it stated.
The South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) revised import requirements applicable to imports of live cattle, sheep and goats from Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland.
The requirements aim to ensure consistency with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. One of the requirements is that the contents of a new official veterinary import certificate should accompany the standard handling procedure. The consultation process for import regulations apparently already commenced in December 2013.
Meanwhile, local meat industry role players have been pessimistic about the new regulation if it should come in place by May 2016.
President of the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) Ryno van der Merwe on various occasions warned that such a decision could have devastating consequences for the industry.
However, South African experts are optimistic that the decision would not have any negative consequences for the four effected countries.
It is only a matter of new procedures which have to be put in place. Furthermore, the regulations will have no influence on the importation of meat from South Africas neighbouring countries, said the National Animal Health Forum (NAHF) Chairperson, Dr Pieter Vervoort as quoted by Agri South Africa, the federation of agricultural organisations in South Africa last month. Vervoort also expressed concern over the delay in the implementation of the regulations.