Ministry shuns shipping plan

The agriculture ministry said it does not allow the import and transit of livestock and other cloven-hoofed animals from South Africa, due to the ongoing foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in the neighbouring country.

15 September 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



The agriculture ministry has distanced itself from a proposed plan that would have seen thousands of livestock being shipped to the Middle East from Namibian ports.

It was reported that Tradeport Namibia, the company that proposed the shipment, planned to export 125 000 farm animals to Kuwait, but the plan has since been put on ice.

The animals would have been held at Ariamsvlei until there were adequate numbers for further transport to ports, and then via sea to the Middle East.

Agriculture ministry executive director Percy Misika stressed that the ministry is the competent authority for animal health and the establishment of animal handling facilities such as places of quarantine, the issuance of veterinary import/in-transit permits and the certification of animals and animal products in the country.

“The ministry has not received any applications for veterinary permits from any country,” he said.

He added the ministry does not allow the import and transit of livestock and other cloven-hoofed animals from South Africa, due to the ongoing foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in the neighbouring country, which was detected in January 2019 in Limpopo.

Miskika said the ministry distances itself from all reports in the media regarding the matter, adding that the public at large and media should seek clarity from the ministry in future.



Plan on ice

Last week, the director of Tradeport Namibia, Monty Ndjavera, told Namibian Sun he gave instructions to “put everything on hold for now”.

This includes the environmental clearance application that had given rise to the protests.

Ndjavera said his decision to stop the process was made after he noted the strong opposition, both locally and internationally, to the export of live farm animals via sea to foreign abattoirs or farm animal buyers.

He said his logistics company does not want to be involved in business that will attract widespread outrage.

Ndjavera stressed he is a proud Namibian and wants to ensure his company's reputation remains intact. He further clarified that no specific clients had been identified, as the venture was still in its infancy.

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