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

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RPO Executive Council Convenes In Pretoria

The Executive Council of the national RPO recently convened in Pretoria, where various important matters were discussed.
atters discussed include the following :-
  • The Executive Council took note of the fact that the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries met with a delegation of the South African Poultry Association to discuss the amendments to the poultry meat regulations regarding control over the sale. 
Read more ...

New leaders for 2016 announced

The Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF) council members at its recent AGM elected its new office bearers. 
The appointments signal continuity as Mr Dave Ford was unequivocally re-elected as Chairman, Mr Tim Davidson (National Federation of Meat Traders representative) was re-elected as Vice-Chairman and Mr Gerhard Schutte (Red Meat Producers’ Organisation Small Stock representative) would continue to serve as management committee member.  Read more ...

WRSA Condemns attempted smuggling of Sable

Wildlife Ranching South Africa (WRSA) has noted with dismay that six South Africans and one Zimbabwean have been arrested for attempting to smuggle 12 antelope from Zambia into South Africa.
Five of the 12 sable have since died due to heat stress after the attempt. The previous month, three South Africans were arrested in Zimbabwe for attempting to smuggle 29 sable across the border without permits.  Read more ...

Concern about fences

The national RPO requested the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to urgently investigate red line fences in the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal.                                    
The RPO is very protective of South Africa's current FMD zone free status, the advantages thereof and the export opportunities for the red meat industry.  The organisation is therefore very concerned about the current state of fences.  The fences are in a very poor condition with unrestricted movement of livestock.   
The RPO offered its support to any actions the Department may take in this regard and requested that feedback be given at the National Animal Health Forum meeting scheduled for 4 December 2015.  
The RPO has in the recent past received a number of enquiries regarding the current status of the South African border fences with neighbouring countries as well as red line fences.    

Specialist Prosecutors out of the question

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) does not have the capacity to dedicate a portion of its prosecutors in each division to concentrate solely on stock theft, as requested by the National Stock Theft Prevention Forum. 
According to a letter by the NPA, the focus was shifted to empower the prosecutors by providing much needed training in stock theft and related cases. For the past few years, several prosecutors attended an annual training course on stock theft matters.  
The interest in this training has recently escalated to such a degree that the facilitators had to accommodate the prosecutors in two separate courses that were held in Pretoria and Durban. A total of 60 prosecutors attended the training sessions.  
The NPA takes cognizance of the magnitude and impact that stock theft has on the South African community and stock farmers alike and remains committed in fighting the scourge of stock theft.

SA needs a Pounds Act

It came to the attention of the National Stock Theft Prevention Forum (NSTPF) that the absence of a national Pounds Act in South Africa is a matter of great concern due to abuse of people within the industry and the value chain.  
This matter needs urgent attention, the NSTPF said in a letter to the Deputy-director General of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.  
The NSTPF in May 2013 commented on the national Animal Pounds Bill in response to the General Notice, Notice 398 of 2013, which was gazetted on 18 April 2013. The new proposed Animal Pounds Act was evaluated against the previous comments and it needs to be mentioned that the current proposed Act is much improved. The NSTPF therefore requests that the Department gives urgent attention for the publication, finalisation and implementation of the new proposed Act.  

Red Meat and Cancer

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published their evaluation of red and processed meat on October 26, 2015 in the British Medical journal The Lancet Oncology. It states that “Red meat contains high biological value proteins and important micronutrients such as  B vitamins, iron (both free iron and haem iron), and zinc” says Prof Hettie Schönfeldt of the University of Pretoria.
In response, the Cancer Research UK pointed out that the IARC isn’t saying that eating red and processed meat as part of a balanced diet causes cancer -  no single food causes cancer. Nor is it saying it’s as dangerous as smoking. The IARC itself has said that the risk from processed meat and red meat remains small.  Read more ...

Look out for this stock thief

The National Livestock Theft Prevention Forum warned red meat producers, abattoirs, auctioneers and transporters of livestock against the committing of stock theft from within correctional centers. 
Currently there are eleven livestock theft and one fraud case under investigation against a prisoner who is serving a sentence in corrections for livestock theft and most of these cases are currently on trial. The prisoner started around 2013 with his whole action to commit livestock theft from inside correctional centers and has never ever since stopped with this activity. The crimes are normally committed with illegal cell phones which he obtains as contraband to commit the offences. Various efforts have been made by the authorities to stop the malpractice without any success.  Read more ...

Killing and kidnapping of stock thieves condemned

The National Stock Theft Prevention Forum (NSTPF) has taken notice of the fact that ten suspects were recently arrested for murder, two counts of attempted murder and kidnapping. 
This comes after a farm owner, his wife, his friends and four farm workers at Soutpanfontein near Stella allegedly assaulted three men with knobkerries and pouring them with hot water over their bodies.  Read more ...

Limited International hike in Beef Prices expected

Internationally, soft wholesale prices, the strong dollar and the heavy cattle continue to weigh on the market. Ample supplies going into 2016, together with beef imports will likely limit price increases, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
Locally, the talk among the livestock world has been the dry conditions which have been taking a toll on livestock producers. The recent forecast rains might not lead to much improvement due to extremely low soil moisture, unless if there are follow up widespread rains moving forward.  Read more ...

International market well supplied with mutton

Internationally, it seems the mutton market is well supplied, which might weigh down on prices; however rains in Australia bring about an opportunity for prices to be supported, according to ABSA Agri Trends.  
Locally, the market will continue to look at rain forecasts closely, hoping for continued widespread rains which are needed to revive pasture.  Read more ...

Lardus van Zyl (RPO) receiving sponsorship from  Mr Mark Barlow (Voermol) 

Farewell to Mr Hans van der Merwe, Designated Chief Executive Officer of Agri SA


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

Drought: the impact on the Red Meat Industry

Southern Africa is currently experiencing one of the most serious droughts in the past 20 years. 
This countrywide drought follows after a very poor 2014 season in most parts of the country. No planting has yet been possible in the summer rainfall areas and grain prices have already started to rise. At least six weeks of the growth of natural grazing has already been lost and crop rests will be limited during the coming winter. This means that the provision of feed will already be under serious pressure in the coming winter, which will also have a dampening effect on herd building.  Read more ...

Role players discuss the drought situation

The most important role players in organised agriculture, organised agribusiness, the bank sector and government institutions recently convened to discuss the impact of the dire drought situation on the wider agricultural sector and on food security.  
According to a press release by Agri SA, it is clear that the drought situation is not limited to South Africa, but that it extends to large parts of southern Africa and also has socio-economic and feed security implications on regional level.
Read more ...

Tips to survive the drought

The Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa shared the following tips to survive the current drought as received by Mr Barry Symons, retired cattle breeder and beef management consultant: 
  • Make sure animals have roughage. If you are running short, split herds and open up paddock fences.
Read more ...

New levies announced

The Statutory Levy for Red Meat imported into South Africa escalated on 1 November 2015 as stipulated in Government Gazette No. 38199 of 11 November 2014.   Read more ...

Escalation of Statutory Levy

The Statutory Levies escalated on 1 November 2015 as stipulated in Government Gazette No. 38199 of 11 November 2014.
 The following functions are funded with the Statutory Levy :-
  • Consumer assurance.
  • Consumer communication and education.
  • Transformation in the developing sector.
  • Red meat research and development.
  • Industry and international liaison.
  • Production development
  • Compliance to legislation.
Read more ...

Namibia eases some FMD measures

The latest case of Foot-and-Mouth disease (FMD) occurred on 22 July this year in the Omusati region and since 31 July no new cases were reported in the Zambezi region. The Namibian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries recently revaluated the strict control measures.
The lifting of the control measures means that stock can be moved or transported within an infected or controlled area with the necessary veterinary permit. However, no stock may be moved from an infected to a controlled area, except if it is done under veterinary supervision and the stock goes directly to an abattoir.  Read more ...

RPO – NERPO Code of Practises

Guidelines for water and waste management 
Water management
Agriculture consumes about 75% of the rainfall in South Africa. From this, 60% is utilized by the natural vegetation, 12% by dry land crop production and 3% by irrigation. The natural vegetation (rangeland) and dry land crop production use only so-called green water, which is rain water that is stored in the soil after precipitation.  Read more ...


Feedlot performance of Boer goats receiving diets with different energy contents.
Goats are more commonly reared in extensive production systems and are usually directly marketed from the farm at a weight of less than 30 kg. This, however, is not always satisfactory and farmers would like to have different options, such as partial or total fattening in a feedlot. From that perspective, little is known about optimal diets. This study, therefore, was conducted to determine the effect of dietary energy content on the production of Boer goats in a feedlot system to increase marketing weight and understand the feedlot dynamics.  Read more ...                                                                                                

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