Welcome to the February 2018 issue of the Red Meat Producers Organisation's Newsletter
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The Economic impact of stock theft in South Africa

The economic impact of stock theft must be studied with care, as the stolen stock can be valued in various ways.
It is not always clear whether comparative prices per head over the time period has been used or if the price per head has been determined according to market values over the various years. The values can be influenced by factors like inflation or changes in the price of red meat over time. To obtain a more realistic picture of stock theft, it is better to take the amount of animals stolen, recovered and lost into account.
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Trading of donkey hide must be stopped 

The Livestock Welfare Coordinating Committee (LWCC) is going to support an initiative by the Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF) to place a moratorium on the trading of donkey hides.  
During the last meeting of the LWCC, note was taken of the fact that Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia have been making changes to their legislation, but this is not happening in South Africa. 
The meeting also discussed the dehorning of cattle using castration rings, which is not an acceptable method of dehorning according to the RPO. A position statement in this regard by the LWCC, will state that the use of elastic bands or straps to dehorn cattle is completely unacceptable. 
The LWCC heard that a SAPRO Act that had been promulgated replaces the Medicines Control Act. The Act contained a section on ‘Medical Devices’ focussing for the most part on human applications.
However, within the next year medical devices will be evaluated in terms of quality, safety and efficiency, and that will include welfare issues. It will be controlled and the industry should keep track of this because the welfare component of the evaluation has to be adequate. 

Bluetongue vaccine now available

Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP) has announced that a Bluetongue vaccine is now available.
For more detail, contact OBP at its call centre number: 012-522-1684/5/7 or email at

Young farmers hold conference

The TAU SA Young Farmer conference will be taking place on 15 March 2018 at the Lezar farmstead in Heidelberg.
Themes that will be highlighted include the current political developments and the implications for the farmer as well as value adding to your cattle herd.

Bookings can be done via the following link:

Carbon tax on meat production?

Carbon tax on agriculture is not an immediate threat in South Africa, but we can expect pressure in future.
Some investors are betting governments around the world will find a way to start taxing meat production as they aim to improve public health and hit emissions targets set in the Paris Climate Agreement.
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Less meat can make you depressed

There is no shortage of praise for vegetarian diets, but new evidence suggests that not eating meat could make you depressed. 
A team of researchers in the United Kingdom and the United States decided to test whether people who identified themselves as vegetarians were more likely to be depressed.
Using data from an old research study that took place in the UK, which asked families to report on their diets, the team found that vegetarian males were more likely to be depressed than their carnivorous counterparts. The sample included nearly 10 000 men who had a pregnant partner, and everyone identified their dietary preferences. Only 350 reported that they are vegetarian.
The scientists compared results of both plant and meat eaters on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, used by U.K. doctors to determine if women are likely to develop postpartum depression. The team found that vegetarians were more likely to have scores higher than 10, the minimum threshold of possible depression. They report their findings in the current issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders

Cattle owners must combine forces

2018 shall be the year that all cattle owners combine forces to make sure that all heifers between four and eight months are vaccinated against bovine brucellosis with either Strain 19 or RB 51. According to law this is compulsory!
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, the shedding of brucellosis bacteria will be dramatically reduced if vaccinations are done!
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Does production system really affect fatty acid composition in beef muscles?
Muscle composition of beef can be influenced by age of the animal, feeding regime, growth enhancers and carcass condition at slaughter. There is evidence that type of diet will influence the proximate and fatty acid composition of beef. Beef from grass-fed steers is often reported as healthier than grain-fed beef owing to its lower fat content and more desirable fatty acid profile.
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RPO and NWGA meets in the Free State

The RPO and the NWGA will present several regional meetings in the Free State during March with the theme ‘My biosecurity. My livestock, my plan, my success.’
The meetings take place on 6 March in Vrede, 7 March in Harrismith, 8 March in Reitz, 13 March in Senekal, 14 March in Bultfontein, 15 March in Bothaville, 20 March in Wepener and 27 March in Edenburg.
For more information contact Corine at 079 529 5000 or Hannelie at 051 447 3023.

Class A goats’ meat to be roller-marked in blue

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has granted an application by the RPO and the SA Goat Breeders’ Association for Class A goats (kids) to be roller-marked with blue ink instead of orange ink as prescribed by the regulations.
The department decided to implement the request via dispensation until it can be formally captured in the regulations. The changeover from orange to blue ink shall be fully implemented no later than 1 May 2018.
The permission is subjected to the following conditions:
  • All other conditions of the relevant regulations shall be complied with.
  • It may be withdrawn at any time should a valid complaint be received.
  • All abattoirs slaughtering small stock (the goat industry) indemnify the Directorate Food Safety and Quality Assurance and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries from any detrimental effect, financially or otherwise, which may emanate as a result of this permission.
  • The termination date will be when the amendment to the relevant regulations has been published in the Government Gazette.

Registration fee to increase

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced that the fee for the registration of an animal ID mark will increase to R145,00 as from 1 April 2018.
The fee for the transfer of an animal ID mark will also increase to R145,00, while the same amount will be payable for copies of the animal ID certificate; for an application for duties of pound master as well as for an application for duties as marking operator.
All applications must be accompanied by a proof of postal address and if a departmental or SAPS address is used, a letter head of the department must be attached. An extra fee of R30,00 is payable by clients who want their certificates returned to them via registered post.

RPO Northern-Cape 2018 Redmeat Road Show

The RPO Northern-Cape will present several Redmeat Road Shows during March with the theme ‘How to market sustainably in a changed political and economic environment’.
The meetings will take place on 6 March at Calvinia, 7 March at Kenhardt, 8 March at Groblershoop.

For more information contact Dirk Krapohl  Tel 053 832 9595 of Cell 082 604 1320
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Beef prices threatened by expanding production

Expanding global beef production remains a threat to global beef prices, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
Locally, beef prices may trend sideways during mid-month, and gain support towards the end of the month.
New Zealand steers traded sideways over the week of 16 February at NZ$5.45/kg and cows traded sideways at NZ$4.12/kg compared to the previous week. In the US, beef prices were mixed as follows: Topside traded 0.90% higher at $218.70/cwt. Rump was 0.69% lower at $347.55/cwt and strip loin was 0.26% lower at $509.95/cwt. Chuck traded 2.34% lower at $232.04/cwt. Brisket traded 5.08% higher at $257.98/cwt. The carcass equivalent price was 0.56% higher at $297.98cwt.
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Global lam markets still strong

Internationally lamb markets remain strong, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
An expectation of continuing tight global supply, particularly from both Australia and New Zealand, is likely to keep the market strong in the near future.
Locally, in the short term, prices may trade sideways and follow an upward movement towards Easter. Lamb and mutton remain the most expensive meat in the market.
New Zealand lamb prices traded mostly lower during the week of 16 February compared to the previous week. Lamb prices closed 1.2% lower at NZ$101.6/head for 15kg lamb. Lamb prices were 1.1% lower at NZ$142.3/head for 21kg lamb. Ewe prices traded 1.0% higher at NZ$96.6/head for a 21kg ewe. The import parity price for lamb was 2.5% lower at R65.05/kg, while the import parity price for mutton was 0.6% lower at R47.67/kg.
Read more ...
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