Welcome to the December 2017 issue of the Red Meat Producers Organisation's Newsletter
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Work together to combat stock theft

The National Stock Theft Prevention Forum requests that all role players in the red meat industry urgently play an active role in stock theft prevention and urge the general public for their assistance. 
The national crime statistics made available by the South African Police Service on 24 October 2017, has reference. The livestock theft statistics was analysed by the National Stock Theft Prevention Forum (NSTPF) and the following information are of importance.
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Baboon damage interest group supported

Consensus was reached between the NWGA, RPO and SAMGA to pledge support for membership to the Baboon Damage Interest Group (BDIG) and the Predation Management Forum (PMF) will send a representative to attend a workshop, scheduled for next year. 
As predation by baboons impact on sustainable livestock production, this is a matter of concern to the PMF.
Damage caused by the Chacma baboon has become a serious pest to the sustainability of plantation forests in the eastern Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces.
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Budget for production development submitted

The National RPO submitted its business plan and budget for production development for the period 2018 to 2020.
Production development is of vital importance to the progress of red meat and is in line with the strategic plan for South African Agriculture and the National Development Plan.
According to the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) the demand for beef and sheep meat will grow to the year 2020 by respectively 25% and 20%.
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Vaccinate in time

The rainy season is ahead of us and insect transmitted diseases such as lumpy skin disease, blue tongue, three day stiff sickness, Rift Valley Fever, Wesselsbron disease and African Horse Sickness might occur if animals had not been vaccinated in time.
The monthly report on livestock disease trends as informally reported by veterinarians belonging to the Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa advises farmers to discuss control measures with their vets.
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Effect of heat stress on the performance of beef breeds.
Climate change may have a negative impact on cattle productivity. One of the expected stressors is more regular incidences of high temperature and related to that sometimes elevated solar radiation and humidity. Although breeds will suffer, it is unknown how the major beef breeds and composite in the country may respond to such adverse conditions. The 2015/ 2016 summer provided the opportunity to investigate as it was the hottest and driest year ever recorded in the country. In the preceding nine summers there were on average 1.9 heat waves per summer with 6.5 heat wave days. In the 2015/2016 summer, there were 12 heat waves with 71 heat wave days. The aim of the study cited below was therefore to investigate the effect of these heat waves on the feed intake and growth of young weaner bulls from different genotypes.  
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Live exportations not supported

The South African red meat industry is very keen on exporting red meat to Malaysia, but the Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF) does not support the exportation of livestock by sea if the livestock is intended for slaughter, because of animal welfare concerns.
This was in response to a request from Malaysia for the Forum to be involved with discussions for the exporting of live cattle from South Africa to Malaysia.
The Malaysian Veterinary Services conducted an inspection visit of South African ZA-approved export facilities during the latter part of October 2017 and the local industry are awaiting feedback and/or a report on the findings and outcomes of the inspection visit.

The state of affairs in one of the world’s biggest red meat-exporting nations

A report from the Red Meat Advisory Council Ltd has put Australia as the world’s biggest red meat exporter.
It will hardly be surprising for many to discover that in Australia, red meat is big business. The images of ranches so vast they require helicopters to traverse and herds more populace than a small town are deeply associated with the economy and iconography of the nation.
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Draft development plan for meat goats published

A draft development plan for meat goats in South Africa was published with the aim to create a holistic support framework for the development of a sustainable meat goat sector in the country.
To this end, a strategic log frame of integrated interventions will be undertaken to support the development and maintenance of a viable meat goat sector in South Africa that will benefit the entire value chain – from goat owners and keepers using communal rangeland resources to commercial breeders and producers, processors and retail product outlets.
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More cattle available in international markets

Internationally, schedule prices could ease marginally towards the end of November and over the next month as more cattle became available for slaughter and New Zealand’s beef production levels improve, according to ABSA Agri Trends.

Domestically, the outlook for livestock prices remains bullish in line with increased spending ahead of the festive season.

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International sheep meat supplies are tight

Internationally, tight sheep meat supplies coupled with good demand for the sheep meat market continue to support prices, according to ABSA Agri Trends.

Locally, the overall outlook for lamb and mutton points to strong prices as improved seasonal demand and the warmer temperatures are supportive to outdoor grilling. Lamb prices are roughly 28% higher compared to the same time a year ago.

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Lamb and Mutton SA Advent calendar

Lamb and Mutton SA is celebrating the festive season with a digital Advent calendar on their website: Behind every day on December’s calendar awaits a Lamb and Mutton SA highlight from 2017. From delicious recipes to videos and more, there will be a treat for every lamb and mutton lover this December.
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