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Welcome to the April 2019 issue of the Red Meat Producers Organisation Newsletter
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Various markets re-open for South African livestock products

The continuation of trade in safe commodities has been prioritised by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in its negotiations with trade partners following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Limpopo.
 
The Department successfully negotiated the revision of veterinary health certificates for beef to Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lesotho, Mozambique, Qatar, Swaziland and the United Arab Emirates. 
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Concern about unavailability of vaccines


The red meat industry is seriously concerned about the number of vaccines which are developed and produced by Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP) that are currently not available, according to the RPO.
 
This is especially true of the heartwater vaccine as outbreaks of the disease are occurring. The RPO is also still awaiting communication of the OBP on the availability of certain antigenes for brucellosis. 
  
The industry requests farmers to adhere to their biosecurity management system, which includes the vaccination of their animals against diseases. The non-availability of vaccines hampers this process.
  
The RPO hereby expressed the hope that this situation would be turned around as OBP is seen as a strategic partner.

Predation manager to be appointed


The Predation Management Forum (PMF) recently held a workshop to develop a framework that will give direction to research and training/extension, which will be practical for all to support and actively engage and participate in.
 
The Steering Committee of the PMF adopted a new constitution which paves the way for the Forum to be registered as a legal entity as well as for the appointment of a manager.

Mitigating climate change through cattle herding in Habu and Eretsha villages in Southern Botswana

 
An inception workshop of the new Herding for Health (H4H) project was recently held in two of its intervention areas (Habu an Eretsha villages) in Southern Botswana.
 
Participants shared through participatory learning assessments some of the changes that they have observed over the past years such as reduced and erratic rain patterns, high temperatures, and droughts among other issues. 
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How the world’s first ever scientific eating plan forgot the poor

 
team of 37 world-leading scientists from 16 countries have just released the world’s first ever scientific eating plan. The “planetary health diet” is designed to be healthier for people and more environmentally friendly.
 
The team warns that the way we eat now threatens both our health and the long-term survival of the planet. They say the current food system dangerously overproduces greenhouse gases, misuses fertiliser, and causes large-scale food wastage and massive land degradation.
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Increase in insect and tick transmittable diseases

 
The last month of the summer season has seen an increase in insect and tick transmittable diseases, according to the RuVASA (Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa) disease report.
 
In cattle lumpy skin disease, ephemeral fever, anaplasmosis, African red water and Asiatic redwater were reported while blue tongue has been reported in sheep. All of these diseases could have been prevented if vaccinations were given in time. It is so important to follow a vaccination programme drawn up with a veterinarian.
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Perspective

Carbon sequestration through Conservation Agriculture


South Africa is 13th on the list of highest emitters of global greenhouse gases GHG). Despite this is Africa still the smallest contributor to GHG emissions among the continents, yet the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The effects will not be limited to rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns, but also to increased severity and frequency of droughts, heat stress and floods.
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Lamb and Mutton SA- Lessons learnt at the IMS: Part 1- “The Impossible Burger”


The International Meat Secretariat hosted a workshop for the International Meat Marketing group in Canada this past March to further develop the powerful body of institutional knowledge within the red meat marketing circles to facilitate discussions around current challenges and solutions within the global meat narrative.
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April 2019

Policy on livestock sector published by the UN

 
The food and agriculture organisation of the United Nations recently published a policy document on the transformation of the livestock sector through sustainable development goals.
 
Human progress has been dependent on the products and services of livestock since at least the advent of agriculture, and even the most modern post-industrial societies remain critically reliant on animals for food and nutrition security. As our understanding of economic development advances, so must our recognition of the enduring importance of livestock. Livestock are especially vital to the economies of developing countries, where food insecurity is an endemic concern.
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Effective policy vital to counter transmittable diseases

 
While Trans-frontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs), which re-established the movement of wildlife within larger landscapes, minus fencing, are a welcome concept in recent years in boosting economic development and biodiversity conservation, the absence of a formal policy on animal disease control has negative impacts on public health, agriculture, commerce and even conservation itself, experts say.
 
A lack of a formal policy on animal disease control is a major problem arising from TFCAs and may be a factor for massive loss of domestic animals especially with reference to Zimbabwe, said Steve Kasere, a seasoned wildlife management expert.
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Global animal wellness standards launched

 
NSF International, a global public health and safety organisation known for food safety and quality, launched new Global Animal Wellness Standards to address the full lifecycle of all key species and establish best practices for how animals are kept, raised and responsibly managed.
 
The standards are the first of their kind in establishing a universal approach to animal health and wellness.
  
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Climate-friendly labriculture depends on an energy revolution

 
In a first-of-its-kind study, the climate-change impact of several production methods for lab-grown and farmed beef was assessed accounting for the differing greenhouse gases produced.
 
The new projections reveal that over the long term, cultured meat production methods requiring large energy inputs could increase global warming more than some types of cattle farming if energy systems remain dependent on fossil fuels.
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Cold winter weather limits beef production in the Northern hemisphere


The current cold and wet winter weather in the USA limits weight gain for live cattle and keeps beef production low, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
 
Production is currently 2,2% below a year ago. During spring the production of beef will increase significantly and traders in the USA expect hefty numbers if weather conditions improve. Easter is approaching and it is expected that beef prices will enjoy underlying support during April.
 
Local
The average price across all grades decreased week on week during the week of 8 March 2019 by 0.2%. In line with seasonality Class A beef prices are expected to enjoy underlying support and increase by 2,3% until May. The beef prices for Class C should continue to trade 1,4% higher in June. The weakening Rand will provide underlying support when USA beef supply increase during the USA spring. Given stable maize prices and a recovery in beef carcass prices feedlot margins may improve supporting the recovery of weaner calf prices by 2% to R29.70/kg in April.

Brexit and production conditions in New Zeeland underpin global mutton prices


New Zealand lamb and mutton prices traded lower during the week of 1 March 2019, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
 
The GBP (Pound) strengthened with the increased possibility of a Brexit deal. A strong pound and weaker New Zeeland and improves processor margins on lamb.
 
Local
For the week ending 1 March lamb and mutton prices increased overall week on week by 10.3% with AB grades taking the lead with an increase of 12.8%.
  
Mutton prices are overall 10.8% lower than a year ago. In line with seasonal trends it can be expected that Class A and Class C prices will reach a seasonal low during March after which it will start to increase during Easter. The weakening Rand will provide underlying support for imported shoulder and rib prices.
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