Producers to adhere to protocols

Regulations and procedures highlighted

31 July 2019 | Agriculture

Due to an increase in deviations from the conditions of purchase on the sales advice and inconsistencies with the NAMLITS ear tags, Meatco has urged producers to adhere to the regulations as stipulated.

The company says the identification of livestock is described in the Animal Identification Regulations under the Animal Diseases and Parasites Act.

At Meatco, the official ear tag is the Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) (on the button). Therefore, animals offloaded at Meatco will undergo verification of 40/90 days, according to the RFID Ear Tag, whereas the visual ear tag will only be verified if the RFID tag is missing.

According to manager of commercial livestock procurement, Abrie van Wyk, producers who compile animal movement notices (departure registers) and verify the 40/90 days at their establishment based on the visual ear tag number, run the risk of causing discrepancies between the RFID number and the visual ear tag number.

“Additionally, if the RFID number does not correspond with the number on the herd statement, the animal delivered will be declared as an illegal movement by the regulatory body, the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS), and the animal/s will be sent back to the farm of origin, followed by the establishment being closed down and placed under quarantine for 30 days, because Meatco's Windhoek Abattoir is currently under a Red Cross Permit status,” Van Wyk adds.

To avoid further financial losses due to animals being sent back to the farm or the need to slaughter for the local market and/or other risks, Meatco has urged producers to ensure all European Union (EU) requirements, as stated below, are met.



Documentation

Documents indicated below are compulsory and must be attached to the sales advice. Producers should, therefore, ensure that all documents are valid, completed in full, and are available from the transporter upon arrival at the Meatco abattoir.

DVS permit to move animals;

Animal movement notice;

Proof of residency compliance (40/90 Days) DVS certificate of registration to transport animals; and

DVS certificate of cleaning and disinfection of livestock transport vehicle.

It is imperative that cattle movement notices are completed before animals arrive at Meatco.



Animal welfare

The Animal Health and Welfare protocol requires producers to refrain from transporting/loading any weak or injured animals to an export abattoir. This applies to all animals with limps, weak animals or injured animals. Furthermore, this also applies to cows or heifers in the late stage of pregnancy, animals with prolapse, and old injuries not healed properly and/or any genetic defects that might cause it not to stay on its feet during transportation. Any animal that cannot compete for standing space in the compartment might be injured

“Therefore, we urge that only healthy and strong animals be loaded. The abattoir veterinarian (DVS) might deem such loads unfit for offloading, causing unnecessary complications to all the parties involved,” Van Wyk says.

No cattle are allowed to be forced onto or off a truck.

Animals with any cases of lumps under the skin as a result of healed Lumpy Skin Disease or injection marks should be brought to Meatco's attention before loading and a declaration of the condition and treatment, including dates of treatment and withdrawal period, provided.

The closing time for offloading is 17:00.

Because all animals must be inspected by the DVS before slaughter, late arrivals might not be slaughtered on the arranged slaughter date. Furthermore, the animals might be sent back to the farm.

In cases of emergency where late delivery becomes unavoidable, producers should contact one of the following contact persons to request permission for the late delivery:

Meatco's livestock procurement staff, 061-321 6459 office hours only or the offloading staff at the Windhoek Abattoir: 061-3216042.

Meatco urges producers and transporters to load animals early to ensure that provision is made in the event of possible breakdowns or other unforeseen circumstances.

Once a late delivery is arranged, the concerned producer should keep Meatco informed of the time the load is expected to arrive at the abattoir.

STAFF REPORTER