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

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Foot and mouth outbreak at the border with Zimbabwe

The national RPO, the Animal Health Forum and the Red Meat Industry Forum immediately engaged in urgent talks with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries about the handling of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease on the Zimbabwean border.
Zimbawe’s stock and veterinary services department already reported the outbreak of the disease to the OIE, the international organisation for animal health. At this stage, infections are limited to the controlled area. Weekly inspection of the affected premises and of all properties within a 20-km-radius zone continues.
   Weekly inspection of the affected premises and of all properties within a 20-km-radius zone continues. New outbreaks are a result of local spread from infected communal dip tank areas to adjacent ones as animals mix within the quarantined infected zone as they access water and grazing. Outbreaks in Chiredzi district are occurring in the routine vaccination areas adjacent to national parks with resident wild buffalo where cattle and wildlife share grazing and watering points as routine FMD vaccinations in these areas are long overdue..
   Available vaccine was not adequate to cover all affected areas and has been directed to a 10 km cordon area that has been created to prevent further spread of the outbreaks to the north and west of the country. Affected districts are under quarantine and no movement is allowed outside the prescribed infected areas. Limited movement is being allowed within the infected districts to access grazing and water as well as for direct slaughter at designated abattoirs under veterinary supervision. Infection is still confined inside the vaccinated containment barrier.  Read more ...

Scottish vaccine may be helpful

A Scottish vaccine against malignant catarrhal fever may provide in the local market’s need.
A local vaccine against malignant catarrhal fever may next year be available in the South African market, a year earlier than planned. An isolated and impaired malignant catarrhal fever virus has last year been brought in from Scotland for the development of a local vaccine. In the meantime it became clear that the Scottish virus is genetically so close to the local virus that for all intents and purposes, it can be considered as the same virus. Read more ...

Significant correction in hide market

There has been a significant correction in the hide market over the past weeks.  This drop is a direct result of a significant drop in the global hide market.
The United States’ hide market has dropped over the past weeks. Essentially South Africa has moved from a base level of $95.5 in Week 12 to $61.5 in Week 30; a drop in excess of 35%. The fix rate over this period has remained almost level; 12.45 in Week 12 compared to 12.65 now (only a 1.5% differential).
Due to this significant correction the local hide market is still looking for a level at which markets will absorb the South African hide volumes. Unfortunately we are not there yet; but hopefully fast approaching a stable market
Based on current buyer feedback and market indications it is expected that prices will continue to fall until such time as buyers come back into the market.  

Stella Beesfees is going to be huge

The RPO is going to manage the spit braai competition at the Stella Beesfees as a brand and will also be responsible for the appointment of judges.
The Stella Beesfees is a community feast that aims to make a difference in the lives of the people in the community. The purpose of the feast is to promote red meat, specifically lamb and mutton and Mutton SA are now also involved. The spit braai competition started in 2014 and was a huge success.
Big prices are up for grabs for the first three winners. The prices will also be donated by the RPO.
It is aimed to enrol more or less 100 braai teams. The area per team will be 5m x 5m. Not only farmers, but also large companies are targeted to enter the competition. Riana Nel will be the artist at the feast.
Funds generated by the competition will be reinvested into the community in the form of a small scale trauma centre at the retirement home.
For further enquires and an entry form, contact Daan Diedericks at 082 899 3673.

Look out for energy deficiencies in stock

Protein and energy deficiencies in stock are reported from many areas of the country, according to the monthly report on livestock disease trends as informally reported by veterinarians belonging to the Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa.
Reports of downer cows were received. If early spring and summer rains do not fall, many areas will face food shortages. Farmers should start planning now for obtaining alternative feed if necessary.  Read more ...

Positive global outlook for beef

Internationally, tightening meat supplies in top consuming nations such as the US and China are boosting the global outlook for cattle, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
Additional support will come as Australia’s import quota starts to run out. Locally, prices are expected to follow an upward trend in line with seasonal trends as demand improves during the warmer periods. Read more ...

Good demand for mutton expected

Internationally, mutton prices should be supported in the months to come especially during Christmas trade as a result of expected good demand at the time where there is less supply at major exporting countries, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
Locally, mutton prices are expected to trade sideways to downwards in line with seasonal trends and as demand remains limited in the market. The market might see improved demand moving forward as warmer conditions are normally associated with more outdoor activity like grilling which promotes more consumption of the product.  Read more ...

RPO – NERPO code of best practices

Guidelines for bio-security measures for disease control
Bio-security, from a disease control perspective, relates to proactive steps and measures that need to be taken on a permanent or temporary basis in order to limit the spread and influence of contagious diseases. 
This could for example be in the form of routine testing as in the case of TB (Tuberculosis) and CA (Brucellosis), vaccinations as in the case of Anthrax, or movement restrictions as in the case of a Foot and Mouth outbreak in the green zone, where the restrictions are lifted once the threat is considered over.  Read more ...

Be smart with ‘MeatSmart’

The first red meat skills course, namely MeatSmart, was successfully presented in July 2015.  The course forms part of the recently launched programmes for transformation of the Red Meat Industry.
Previously disadvantaged and unemployed individuals were selected to form part of the programme and trained as red meat promoters. The MeatSmart course was outlined by 5 modules, namely Food safety, Meat handling, Culinary application, Nutrition and red meat, and Marketing.  Read more ...

The August 2015 digital version of the Red Meat/Rooivleis magazine is available on 

Important matters under the spotlight

Various important matters came under the spotlight during the last meeting of the RPO Executive Council, which took place in the Eastern Cape.
  • Red Meat Industry Forum
  • Transformation
  • Classification
  • Stock Theft
  • Predation Management Forum
  • Malta Fever
  • Lamb and Mutton SA
  • Animal Feeds and mixers legislation
  • The "Futures Market" Workshop
  • Imports from neighbouring countries
  • Minimum wage
  • Poultry Regulations
  • Biological control
  • Diploma in Stock Production
Read more ...

Sheep and Cattle Farmer of the Year wanted

Nominations for the Sheep Farmer of the Year as well as the Cattle Farmer of the Year, is now being awaited.
Requirements include the fact that the candidate must be a leading farmer in his area, must set an example for his/her peers and his/her management practices and results must serve as a benchmark.
Any farmer can be nominated as long as fellow farmers can identify with the candidate.  The candidate must be willing to receive farmers on his farm and to present a farmers’ day in cooperation with the organisations involved in the competition.
Candidate information is submitted to a panel chaired by the Department of Animal, Wildlife and Grassland Sciences of the University of the Free State. The panel nominates three finalists whose farms they will visit in order to determine who the National Cattle Farmer of the Year and the National sheep Farmer of the Year will be.
The following aspects will be considered during final adjudication: utilisation of resources, fodder flow planning, pasture management, breeding and selection standards, record-keeping, marketing and value addition, herd production, physical appearance of animals, infrastructure, labour management and participation in organised agriculture.
For an entry form and more information, contact Hendrik van Pletzen by fax 051 436 8576 or email

LWCC concerned about lack of vaccines

The Livestock Welfare Coordinating Committee (LWCC) expressed its concerns about the unavailability of key livestock vaccines.
It is feared that this will have animal welfare implications because of the inability to protect livestock from diseases with serious, painful, unpleasant and often fatal effects. Since there are no vaccines other than the Onderstepoort Biological Product’s (OBP) range against a number of key diseases, it is imperative that he OBP is enabled to deliver sufficient quality vaccines at the right times.


Lamb and Mutton South Africa – For the love of braai

Braai-day is one of the highlights on Lamb and Mutton South Africa’s calendar.
e believe a braai is not a braai without a sizzling chop over the coals. This year a variety of ads will be appearing in printed and social media to entice the consumer with new recipe and ideas.  Read more ...


Can resistance to anthelmintics be delayed?
Anthelmintics are developed from chemical compounds to which worms are sensitive and
mostly cannot survive. The products, however, are not 100% effective because if so they
would be toxic and dangerous to man, animal and the environment.   Read more ...

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