Welcome to the November 2015 issue of the Red Meat Producers Organisation's Newsletter 

Draft on traceability developed

A team representative of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) and provincial veterinarians is working on a draft policy on traceability, it was heard at the last meeting of the Animal Health Forum (AHF).
The team is looking at the possibility of using integers as the first option and later building thereon. The second option is to buy a new system all together. The third option is to do nothing, thus maintaining the status quo.  Read more ...

Spitbraai for the novice and the master

Sheep and Mutton SA introduced a brochure on spitbraai during the recent Stella Feast. It contains a set of simple steps for the novice and the master on a successful spitbraai
The RPO together with Sheep and Mutton SA was involved in the recent Spitbraai Competition held in Stella, North West. The RPO was the main sponsor of the prizes at the competition.  Read more ...

Namibia is looking for new export markets

Namibia is even looking at Saudi Arabia for new export markets for their stock, said Paul Strydom, General manager of the Namibian Meat Board.
Their vision for the red meat industry is the marketing of prestigious, high quality meat products and a search for new export markets for meat and live animals, Strydom said at the annual general meeting of the Namibia Livestock Producers’ Organisation (LPO).
Trade agreements already exist with the European Union, Norway, South Africa, Angola and other African countries. New markets are investigated in America, Russia, China and Hong Kong.
Namibia is also looking for new markets for their weaner calves as well as an alternative market for goats. The possibility was investigated to feed own weaner calves, but that would be too expensive. However, the extension of Meatco’s feedlots is a possibility, as well as the growing of weaner claves on irrigated, planted pastures in the Caprivi.

The latest on FMD

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has recently submitted the fourth update for the year on the country’s Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) status to the  international organisation for animal health, the OIE.
The Department had to provide assurances that everything is under control. Ndumo Nature Reserve had been tested and it was confirmed that there was no circulating virus. Tembe Elephant Park was surveyed and confirmed FMD free. Dr Maja had a meeting with Mozambique and they were confident that they did not have FMD.  Read more ...

Smuggling of game from the neighbouring countries condemned

The national RPO strongly condemns the two incidents of illegal smuggling attempts of sable from Zimbabwe and Zambia which occurred in the past three weeks.
Not only is such lawless behaviour unacceptable, it also poses a big risk for the local red meat industry because of the possibility of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) being brought into the country.  Read more ...

Predation Management Information centre to be established

The Predation Management Forum (PMF) called on academic institutions with the appropriate profile, managerial skills, institutional capacity, human resource capacity, research expertise and infrastructure to submit an expression of interest in establishing a Predation Management Information Centre (PMIC) to service the needs of the PMF.
The Predation Management Forum provides a platform for liaison and coordination of activities of commodity organisations in the livestock and game ranching sectors, aimed at reducing losses incurred as a result of predation by means of ecologically and ethically acceptable methods which protect the biodiversity of South Africa.
PMF members expressed the desire to have a coordination structure to ensure scientific, responsible and ecologically sustainable predation management in South Africa by establishing the Predation management Information Centre (PMIC).
The PIMC shall ideally be situated at an accredited academic/research institution with a department that is well versed in the interface between agriculture and the natural environment with a team of staff (academic staff and students) that are able to manage requests for information and support on predation management from livestock and wildlife farmers. 

RMIF wants to discuss measures

The Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF) requested a meeting with the Deputy Director General of Economic Development, Trade and Marketing in the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to discuss various sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) matters affecting among others the red meat industry.
This follows after the Deputy Director General has been closely involved over the last couple of months in discussions with the United States (US) regarding these matters. These discussions took place within the context of South Africa’s efforts to maintain its position as beneficiary under AGOA.  Read more ...

Now is the time to export beef

Now is the time to establish South Africa as a beef exporting country. The opportunity has never been this great, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
The international herd of beef is declining. Globally, reproductive cows needs less expensive and extensive grazing. Their productivity is simply too low to justify intensive feeding systems while urban expansion and infrastructure developments threaten natural grazing.
:country-region>’s efforts to maintain its position as beneficiary under AGOA. Read more ...

International demand for mutton strengthens

Internationally, the demand for mutton from the Chinese market has strengthened, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
Mutton prices are expected to increase due to improved demand in the market and as processors are buying for Christmas trade and the Chinese are preparing for their New Year in February. Locally, prices are expected to trade higher in line with seasonal trends.  Read more ...


In the North West Province, Stella Beesfees is
definitely one of the biggest attractions held annually (31 years continuous). The festival contributes to the local community's economic growth and motivation. The festival took place from 22 to 24 October 2015. This year, 24 teams from across South Africa (and even as far as the Congo!) tested their spitbraai ability at one of the largest (if not the largest) spitbraai-competitions in the world!  Read more ...

Schools programme

AgriExpo WES-KAAP - Okt 2015
During the month of October the RPO was invited to contribute by having a stall as part of the school programme at the yearly expo hosted by AgriExpo on the Sandringham farm in the Western Cape.  Read more ...

The ultimate lamb on a spit!

Lamb and Mutton South Africa pride themselves on developing educational material. Over the last years Lamb and Mutton South Africa have created leaflets, booklets and flyers reaching from recipe books to informative books aimed at doctors. The newest addition to the family is the “Secrets for the ultimate lamb on the spit”. This bright and flamboyant leaflet has already made its mark at the Stella Meat festival which was held at the end of October in the North-West province.  Read more ...
The October 2015 digital version of the Red Meat/Rooivleis magazine available on 

Namibian stock farmers worried about South Africa’s new export measures

Namibian stock farmers are very worried about South Africa’s new export measures which are designed to limit exports from neighbouring countries, according to Mecki Schneider, Chairman of the Namibia Livestock Producers’ Organisation (LPO), who was re-elected at its recent annual general meeting.
He said the LPO has already reacted on the proposed new measures and meetings were also held with the South African Feedlot Association and the national RPO. Mecki called on the Namibian authorities to address the matter with the South African authorities at the highest level. New initiatives have to be developed in the meantime.
The proposed new measurements are in the midst of the second drought in a period of three years, which means that pastures are currently under tremendous pressure and sustainability is becoming a big issue.

Futures market for beef

Red meat, specifically beef, is soon going to trade future contracts on the JSE, better known as Safex.  Read more ...

Amendments to poultry meat regulations published

The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, has approved the long anticipated amendments to the Poultry Meat Regulations regarding control over the scale of which were published in the Government Gazette.
These latest amendments include, among others, the following major changes for producers of both fresh and frozen poultry meat.  Read more ...
Community service for Vets will commence in 2016
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries hopes to implement the compulsory community service (CSS) year for veterinary students by January 2016 as planned. 
The process is in the final stage of implementation and the relevant legislative framework is almost finalized. The act had been enacted, but not promulgated. The department cannot promulgate the act without the supporting regulations.
The Department consulted widely with the CCS Forum. The Red Meat Industry Forum again requested the Department to utilize CCS vets to capacitate health monitoring and disease prevention in national programmes.

Eu to subsidise zimbabwean meat sector

The EU plans to offer a 40 million Euro subsidy programme to the Zimbabwean meat and livestock sector, aimed at resuscitating a struggling industry whose processors are operating at well below capacity. 
The programme will be launched in 2016 and will focus on financing specific detailed projects.

Grazing is poor

It is still dry in many parts of the country and the nutritional value of grazing is poor, according to the monthly report on livestock disease trends as informally reported by veterinarians belonging to the Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa.
 Protein and energy deficiencies are widely reported and numerous animals are so called “downers”, unable to rise. As the condition score of animals deteriorate, so does their immune status. Parasites and disease will take their toll if supplementary feed is not available. 
Be on the lookout for green toxic plants such as gifblaar, gousiekte, tulip, slangkop and ink berry. If animals eat these plants heavy losses may occur. If heavy rains fall after the drought beware of internal and external parasite outbreaks.

RPO-NERPO Code of Best Practises

Guidelines for the management of natural resources for sustainable development
Maintaining biodiversity of flora and fauna species and the associated ecosystems have become a global concern as the successful functioning, resilience and sustainable utilization of natural resources in future as in the past will depend on sufficient genetic diversity and healthy ecosystems. Several strategies and legislation has been developed to provide guidelines in this regard.  Read more ...


Have we made progress with performance testing in the beef herd?
We have come a long way with performance measurement and selection for various traits to improve the national beef herd. The programme requires many resources including financial and therefore it is important to take stock from time to time – do we really benefit? Two recent studies (referenced below) provide some indicators.  Read more ...

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