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Welcome to the February 2017 issue of the Red Meat Producers Organisation's Newsletter
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Hunting with dogs is a problem

The national RPO at its recent Executive Board meeting shed some light on the problem of illegal hunting with dogs on farms.
Farmers want to know what they can do when illegal hunting occurs on their farms.
Hunting with dogs is a growing problem. It has become a sport and there are cases where so-called taksie-hunts are organised, where expensive wildlife are hunt in an organised way.
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Donkeys must be slaughtered at the right abattoirs

The RPO is not opposed to the slaughter of donkeys, but it is imperative that such slaughtering only occur at abattoirs that are registered to slaughter donkeys.
The RPO is concerned that donkey meat may occur in the red meat chain and is adamant that all irregularities are investigated and addressed.
This follows after the North West Department of Rural, Environmental and Agricultural development indicated that they have plans to breed and slaughter donkeys with the purpose of exporting to China.

Red Meat Industry workshop

A red meat industry workshop will be presented on 16 March 2017 and all role players in the industry are invited to participate.
This is the result of a decision taken at the 2016 Aldam Stockman School, where a large group of role players in the red meat value chain agreed that it will be to everybody’s benefit if a strategic session is held for the red meat industry.  The establishment of a sustainable and profitable strategy may also add future value to the value chain. The introduction of new initiatives are imperative for the improvement of the South African red meat industry in the world market.
The Red Meat Producers’ Organisation (RPO) and the National Emergent Red Producers’ Organisation (NERPO), as well as the Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF) and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the South African beef Genomic Plan (BGP) support the workshop. The aim is to establish a strategic plan for the South African red meat industry in order to become a world class competitor.
Role players can participate in the process by registering on the web-site at www.syntagm.co.za/rmi

Performing animals protected by law

The Performing Animals Protection Act, Act 4 of 2016 has been published in the Government Gazette for general information.
The Act amends the Performing Animals Protection Act, 1935, so as to repeal certain sections; to insert certain definitions; to provide for the designation of a National Licensing Officer; to provide for a procedure for the application for a licence to exhibit and train performing animals or use of animals for safeguarding; to provide for the functions of a National Licensing Officer; to provide for the issuance of licences; to provide for an appeals process; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Perspective

Breed differences in response to heat stress
Beef cattle typically respond negatively to excessive increase in ambient temperature which leads to loss of productivity due to reduced feed intake and nutrient utilization. However, many studies worldwide have shown that breeds may respond differently, depending on comfort zone and adaptability. In South Africa there is a general perception that Sanga and introduced subtropical breeds may be less affected by increased temperature (important in the context of global warming) than European origin breeds or composites with European germplasm. The question is whether it is as simple as that. As a result, the authors cited below compared three cattle breeds, the Nguni (Sanga), Brahman (introduced subtropical) and Bonsmara (local composite) at increased temperatures and at different energy levels in the diets.            
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The brutal truth of stock theft

In recent times the National Stock Theft Prevention Forum (NSTPF) has been involved in many meetings and crime prevention groups all over the country and it is obvious that the brutality involve in livestock theft incidents are totally unacceptable. 
Other environmental crimes such as Rhino poaching have been in the mainstream media for many years which created public awareness and solidarity with the wildlife in South Africa. Furthermore, it has been determined that the general public in South Africa does not understand the really impact of the crime on agriculture or the brutality involved.
 
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Animal identification and trace-ability of animals is the key to successful animal production

The future of animal production lies in food security, supplying a safe product to customers, having a healthy national herd/flock of animals and expanding our local and export market, according to the monthly report on livestock disease trends as informally reported by veterinarians belonging to the Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa (RuVASA), a group of the South African Veterinary Association.
When it comes to proper livestock management, the identification of every animal in your herd is important right from the outset. It is essential that you mark your animals with a high-quality tag and a unique number which cannot be duplicated. Make sure that you capture the animal’s details and all other details regarding his/her history, in a management system.
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Beef market still under pressure

Internationally, the US beef market is still under pressure from increasing domestic production, which is expected to keep a lid on imported prices, according to ABSA Agri Trends.                
For this reason, most reports suggest that the rising market will be short-lived and we may see prices stabilise towards the end of January. With Trump coming into power, we are likely to see further currency volatility which will be an important driver in prices. Domestically, a positive rainfall outlook is supportive to prices and the weaner calf market is also expected to remain supported for most of the year expect during the weaning season.
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Mutton gets support from China

Internationally, strong demand from China may support prices in the short term especially with the New Year celebrations there, according to ABSA Agri Trends. 
Local prices remain supported into the New Year following strong demand during the festive season. Prices may however ease to some extend following consumer resistance to higher prices.
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