Katima abattoir prepares for DVS audit

20 May 2020 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTER

WINDHOEK



Following a successful trial slaughter, the Katima Mulilo abattoir in the Zambezi Region needs to be audited and certified by the Directorate Veterinary Services (DVS) within the agriculture ministry to export beef south of the Veterinary Cordon Fence.

This is a process the Meat Board of Namibia is now leading.

“As soon as the coronavirus lockdown measures have been relaxed, trial cattle will be slaughtered to verify compliance with the Hazard Analysis Critical Control meat quality system, Commodity-Based Trade verification and finally a DVS audit,” according to the Meat Board.

The Zambezi Meat Corporation (Zamco) and Meatco are currently in negotiations to draft an agreement for Meatco to assist Zamco during the initial start-up process of the abattoir. Once DVS certification has been achieved, the role of the Meat Board will have been completed, which is estimated to take place at the end of this month.



Better times ahead

Farmers in the region have not had a market for their cattle since Meatco closed its doors over operational losses of almost N$43 million during the 2014/2015 financial year. The closure of the Katima Mulilo and Oshakati abattoirs left farmers struggling to find markets for their cattle until 2018, when the government invested about N$14 million into the renovation and commissioning of the abattoir.

In other news, the Farm Assured Namibian (FAN) Meat division of the Meat Board has developed standards for the marketing of grain-fed livestock to accommodate animals fed concentrates at a level higher than allowed for free-range marketing.

In the past, such livestock would not qualify to be marketed under the FAN Meat scheme.

FAN Meat Grain-Fed

“With the new FAN Meat grain-fed standard, livestock being fed during periods of extended drought can be marketed as FAN Meat Grain-Fed,” said the Meat Board.

Meat derived from such livestock is still marketed as being hormone-free, antibiotic residue-free, respectful of animal welfare principles and traceable to the farm of origin, as well as carrying negligible risk for Mad Cow Disease.

The FAN Meat division is in the process of finalising standards for feedlots to operate under the scheme.

Meanwhile, the Meat Board has also provided gloves and sanitisers to DVS staff to continue with their functions at auctions during the coronavirus lockdown period.

“It is crucial that trade continues.”

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