Welcome to the September 2016 issue of the Red Meat Producers Organisation's Newsletter
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SAMIC believes in outstanding service performance

“SAMIC believes in world class standards of quality audits, inspections and outstanding service performance,” says Mr Rudi van der Westhuizen, Executive Director in this organisation’s annual report.
With the mandate by its shareholders, SAMIC maintained its independent status as auditor and inspection services.  Read more ...

Symposium on beef production held

A symposium on beef production in warmer climates was recently presented by the ARC. 
Topics that were highlighted includes breeding strategies to improve cow efficiency; adaption of farm animals to stressful environments; breeding and production strategies to support climate smart beef production; and opportunities and challenges for beef production in tropical and subtropical environments.

Brucellosis project launched

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has launched a project to control brucellosis.
Bovine brucellosis (contagious abortion) has been identified in the Veterinary Strategy (2016 -2026) as the model which will be implemented by all role players on how to control this severe zoonotic disease (disease transmitted from animal to human). If this is successful, the model will be used to control other important animal diseases.
It is in the interest of the country that this project succeeds. Advantages in controlling this disease are improved human and animal health, economic interests and international trade to name a few.

Animal welfare discussed

Various matters pertaining to animal welfare were discussed during the last meeting of the Livestock Welfare Coordinating Committee (LWCC).

It was inter alia decided that a proper literature review will be undertaken on the subject of electrical immobilisation, because there are questions whether it should be allowed at all. The study will be conducted by a member of the Faculty of Veterinary Science. A comprehensive literature review is also going to be undertaken on the subject of shelter provision for ruminants.  Read more ...

Lack of fences has serious implications

The implication of the lack of the livestock control fences were discussed during a meeting between representatives of the Animal Health Forum (AHF) and the Department of Public Works.

Mr Gerhard Schutte, on behalf of the AHF, outlined the economic risk if the livestock fence would remain at its current state. 

The company Endecon Ubuntu (Pty) Ltd & DELTA BEC reported that they have already started working on the fence in 2013. Due to adding legal matters the progress is slow but moving. This project includes the maintenance and upgrade of the border fences between South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and separately the Delta BEC working on the border fences between South Africa and Lesotho.  

It was resolved that the AHF will be kept informed of all the progress being made on the fence.

Voermol farmer of the year to be appointed

The search for the Voermol National Cattle Farmer/Sheep Farmer of the Year has started.
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.
For an entry form and more information, contact Mr Hendrik van Pletzen at or fax 051 4368576.

Task team should be appointed for GHG emissions

Agri SA should have a task team consisting of representatives of horticulture, grain crops and livestock which should drive the process of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction and liaise with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the Department of Agriculture, (DAFF) and commodity organisations, as was recommended by the RPO.
Furthermore, the initiative of the DEA to develop a strategy for GHG emission reduction for the Agricultural, Forestry and other Land Use (AFOLU) sector should be done with the involvement of all stakeholders and role players. It is therefore recommended that Agri SA, through the task team, liaise with the DEA in order to table the implications and recommendations before finalising the Strategic Plan for the AFOLU sector.  Read more ...

Be on the lookout for rabies

Rabies is not only a farm disease and it can affect anybody. Positive animals are regularly diagnosed in cities like Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bloemfontein.

Rabies is one of the oldest diseases that annually causes the death of 60 000 people worldwide.  Read more ...

Adhere to declaration of health

The Red Meat Industry Forum requested producers and livestock auctioneers to give attention to the requirement pertaining to a declaration of health in order to ensure the safety of red meat to the benefit of the industry. 
Abattoir owners have a responsibility in terms of the regulations of the Meat Safety Act, Act 40 of 2000 to receive a declaration of health and origin by the owner of the slaughter stock.  Read more ...

Internal parasite infestations still rife

Numerous reports of internal parasite infestations were received, according to the monthly disease reports as informally reported by veterinarians. 
Wireworm and bankrupt worm infestations are an increasing problem in small stock along the Fish River in the Eastern Cape. Long-necked bankrupt worm infestation was reported from Darling. Small stock farmers should be aware of animals with signs of anaemia and bottle jaw.  Read more ...

Warmer weather bodes well for beef demand

Internationally, volumes of lower priced competing proteins continue to weigh heavily on the market, placing pressure on end-user demand for beef. Lack of supplies in the biggest exporting nations eg. Australia and New Zealand is supportive to prices, according to ABSA Agri Trends. 
Locally, prices are expected to start recovering in the coming weeks as warmer temperatures are approaching, which bodes well with demand for beef.  Read more ...

Mutton prices expected to recover

Internationally, global mutton prices are expected to continue with its strength in response to tighter supplies. Local prices are expected to recover in the next few weeks as warmer temperatures are approaching, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
Prices were very strong over the week of 23 August 2016 as warmer conditions are approaching, and are supportive to lamb and mutton demand.  Read more ...
The  digital version of the Red Meat/Rooivleis magazine available on

Red Meat/Rooivleis 2016

Have your say about our mag!

Dear reader, 
Red Meat/Rooivleis, the official, bimonthly publication of the RPO, aims to keep farmers continuously up to date with new, relevant and practical information that will assist them in managing successful and sustainable businesses. To help us in this regard, we would like to hear from you, our reader, about what you do and don’t want to see in the magazine.
It will be greatly appreciated if you could spend about 15 minutes to complete the online survey (at the link below) so that we can improve our service to you, the South African red meat producer. Thank you for your very valuable time.
Survey link:

Five core facts you should know about brucellosis

Bovine brucellosis (contagious abortion) is a herd disease! If one animal in your herd tests positive for brucellosis, the whole herd is considered infected and placed under quarantine.
This is due to the chronic (long term) nature of the disease and slow onset of symptoms caused by Brucella bacteria. Animals that tested negative at first often test positive on another round of tests. You must be able to identify all animals on the farm. There is no cure for the disease and all cases must be reported to State Veterinary Services, as this is a controlled disease.  Read more ...

Report livestock theft cases

In recent times the National Stock Theft Prevention Forum (NSTPF) have been involved in many meetings all over the country and it is obvious that the statistics regarding the non-reporting of stock theft cases are not over extrapolated and that stock theft as a crime, is on the rise.  
Statistics South Africa reported in 2011 that 36.3% of stock theft cases were not reported by the victims and in 2012 this number rose to 40.1% and in 2013 it increased drastically to 63%. The 2014 victims of crime survey did not evaluate this phenomenon however Lombaard (2014) found that 75% of sheep theft in the Free State Province is not reported.  Read more ...

Backlog addressed by DAFF

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has dealt successfully with the backlog on export market access questionnaires.

According to a letter by the department, as potential markets open up for trade, the demand for the assitance from the Directorate Animal Health in securing export markets, has increased dramatically. One of the first steps in securing markets is usually for the importing country to assess the disease risks in South Africa.  Read more ...


The effect of Rift Valley Fever vaccine on ram semen quality

Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne viral disease of ruminants with significant economic and public health implications. The virus may cause fatal disease in juvenile and adult animals and may induce abortion in pregnant animals. It is also a zoonosis that may have life-threatening effects. People who live and work with livestock are at greatest risk of contracting the disease. Read more ...



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