RED MEAT BAN LIFTED IN SA

RED MEAT BAN LIFTED IN SA

South Africa’s three-year ban on red meat exports has finally been lifted. It is reported that the industry lost an estimated R4 billion annually since February 2011, when the ban was put into place due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the country. The country lost its export status due to the failure to improve local bio-security practices, and as a result the industry lost billions of Rands for an outbreak that occurred in KZN alone.

The outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease has had a serious effect on businesses associated with the red meat industry, such as the stud, wool and milk providers in South Africa, and the export ban lift therefore comes as a massive relief to all parties. Experts are however of the opinion that it has taken far too long for the ban to be lifted and the industries have to recover significantly to reach former heights.

In order to prevent future outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease the Department of Agriculture needs to ensure that industry players abide to steps set out by the The World Organisation for Animal Health (OiE) during animal husbandry practices. In addition, the establishment of an independent, self-regulated, multi-sector meat inspection service, which inspects compliance towards legislation and international food safety standards, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), is necessary in South Africa.

Gareth Lloyd-Jones, MD of Ecowize

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