Budget cuts almost halt tests
A cash donation to the agriculture ministry has allowed the continuation of tests for live animal exports.
28 November 2018 | Agriculture
According to the Meat Board, a circular from the Central Veterinary Laboratory has indicated that due the ministry’s cost-cutting measures, the laboratory is no longer in a position to carry these necessary tests for livestock and meat exports.
An immediate amount of N$55 000 was availed for the support to continue Brucella tests for goat exports to South Africa.
The Meat Board resumed discussions with industry organisations to find an urgent long-term solution for the financing of critical services of the directorate.
In other news, the Meat Board has ordered ear tags for small stock at 60% cheaper.
The Meat Board has also received recognition in a report from the College of Veterinary Medicine of the Cornell University's Animal and Human Health for the Environment and Development programme in the United States for its research work to find methods to safely export beef from foot-and-mouth disease endemic areas.
The Meat Board, with financing from the United States Millennium Challenge Account, spearheaded the project in 2015. This project and the recommendations that followed concluded that the risk of FMD can be eliminated by different methods along the value chain. In 2017, the International Animal Health Organisation (OIE) also made amendments to international animal health standards to allow the export of beef from areas not free from foot-and-mouth disease as a result of this research.
According to the Meat Board the review of the specifications of small stock ear tags required for the identification of small stock for exports to South Africa by the Directorate of Veterinary Services and enabled the Meat Board to obtain official ear tags at 60% cheaper than the existing ear tags. The ear tags will comprise a single set of ear tags with a barcode, where the current ear tag consists of a double set of ear tags with an electronic component. The new ear tags will be available at N$3.65 for use in the small-stock industry as soon as the current stock is sold out.