23 Aug 2016 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 23 AUG (NAMPA) The Meat Board of Namibia has cancelled the livestock export scheme to South Africa as from 11 August 2016.
The announcement of the new veterinary import conditions for livestock imports by South Africa on 01 July 2016 makes the export scheme unnecessary, it stated in a media statement on Monday.
South Africa implemented new livestock import regulations for Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, as gazetted and announced by South African Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana on 27 May 2016.
The meat board raised concern that the scheme served to reduce the risk of imported Namibian livestock to the animal health status of the South African livestock herd, by limiting export of livestock only to destinations (feedlots and abattoirs) as indicated on the Meat Board Export Permit and preventing livestock from ending up on farms or in rural areas in South Africa.
Representatives from the meat industry predicted that the stringent conditions will result in the inability of most producers, especially communal weaner and goat producers, in Namibia to sell their livestock and earn money to improve living conditions. Namibia needs a livestock export market to absorb excess livestock, the Chairperson of the Meat Board of Namibia Patricia Gurubes said during a meeting between industry representatives and President Hage Geingob at State House in June 2016.
This is a situation that cannot be accepted,' she said during that meeting.
The South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) revised import requirements applicable to imports of live cattle, sheep and goats from neighbouring countries.
The requirements aim to ensure consistency with the World Trade Organisation 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 new regulations demand that a whole cattle herd has to be tested for Tuberculosis and Brucella bovis (lung sickness). This means that a producer should test about 300 cattle before being able to export a lower amount of about 30.
Namibia exported 48 248 cattle and 52 450 sheep to South Africa between January and March 2016. The local meat industry is worth in excess of N.dollars 2.4 billion a year.