Welcome to the September 2017 issue of the Red Meat Producers Organisation's Newsletter
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Red meat under the spotlight at service delivery programme

The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr. Senzeni Zokwana, recently presented a service delivery programme in Pretoria.

Representatives were inter alia made by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr Mooketsi Ramasodi, Acting Deputy-director of the Department, Mr Tshokolo Nchocho of the Land Bank, Agri SA, TAU SA,  AFASA en NAFU as well as Mr Gerhard Schutte, Chief Executive Officer of the national RPO

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Auctions for October ...

Availability of OBP products

Onderstepoort Biological Products confirmed that the following products are currently available:

Vaccinations against Gallsickness, Antharax, Black Quarter, Blue Tongue, Botulism, B-Phermal 10 dose, Brucella, Calf Paratyphoid, Coryne, E. Coli, Fowl Pox, Heartwater and Leukopast are available in different doses.

Take part in assessment of predation

The Nelson Mandela University has undertaken a scientific assessment of small-stock predation with the overall aim of:

  1. Documenting what is known, unknown and disputed in this regard by means of an extensive and transparent review process by both experts and stakeholders in the field; and
  2. Synthesising and communicating the information in such a way that decision-making and the reaching of social consensus is facilitated.

You can participate in the PredSA process by registering as a stakeholder. As a registered stakeholder you will be able to make formal comments on the draft reports via the project website during specified “commenting periods”. Please register via the following link:

Last year was a record year for cattle imports

Dr Piet Gouws of the Livestock Producers’ Organisation (LPO) of Namibia agreed in a letter to the national RPO that 2016 has been a record year in terms of beef exports to South Africa.

The LPO made the following export figures (Meat Board figures) to South Africa from 2012 until now available:

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NAHF is a success story

The national Animal Health Forum (NAHF) has in the last five years done extensive work for the betterment of the public-private partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), says its Chairman, Dr Pieter Vervoort. 
Success stories of the NAHF include the following:
  • In 2013 the NAHF assisted DAFF with the administration assistance with the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.
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Do more for your sheep and they will do more for you!

By Dr Gareth Bath, Chair LWCC

Most farmers are proud of their livestock and try to do the right things, so what can be done to go that extra mile?


Are the kraals and crushes safe, is water available, is there any shade, is there good flooring or does it become a mud bath after rain? None of these will kill the sheep, but could we do better?

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Remember to vaccinate

The rainy season in the summer rainfall season lies ahead and with this comes an increase in the prevalence of ticks, midges, mosquitoes and flies, according to the monthly report on livestock disease trends as informally reported by veterinarians belonging to the Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa.

These ticks and insects are involved in the transmission of diseases such as African and Asiatic redwater, Heartwater, Lumpy skin disease, Blue tongue, Rift Valley fever, Wesselsbron disease, Three day stiff sickness, African Horse Sickness and eye infections. Discuss control programmes with your veterinarian and order vaccines in time.

It is of utmost importance that all heifers must be vaccinated against bovine brucellosis with either Strain 19 or RB 51 vaccines.

All cattle have to be vaccinated yearly against Anthrax.


Will production and reproduction of nguni cows be similar in different bioregions?                                                                                                               
Cow efficiency is a key factor in the productivity of a beef herd. It is influenced by a number of variables, amongst others adaptability. Adaptability to local conditions is generally accepted as being better in indigenous breeds compared to introduced breeds. However, indigenous breeds are not evenly distributed in the different biomes of the country and therefore it may be unwise to assume that they will perform equally in all biomes. To test this hypothesis the authors cited below investigated the effect of different biomes of South Africa on the production and reproduction of Nguni cows, by measuring cow productivity parameters such as fertility and cow and calf weights at weaning.
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Meat market possibly prosecuted 

Meat World has been found guilty of the violation of health legislation and the Department of Health may bring criminal charges after shocking bacterial readings have come to light after tests. 
Mr Rudi van der Westhuizen of SAMIC said in reaction, food premises are regulated in terms of Regulation 962 of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972. These regulations are applied by municipal authorities with environmental health inspectors visiting the premises with certificates of acceptability issued and to ensure compliance to guidelines. 
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African hide trading is closing

South Africa may lose a second wet blue plant in quick succession with the unexpected announcement that African Hide Trading (AHT) will close at the end of September.

AHT is a hide and skin trader, wet blue plant and fell monger which processes 2 500-3 000 hides and 3 000 to 4 000 skins per day, making it one of the largest such companies in South Africa. Industry insiders said no other company had the capacity to take over that production. It has a network of hide and skin collectors throughout southern Africa, including subsidiary SM Lurie (Pty) Ltd (Botswana).

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Possible loss due to FMD accessed

In an assessment of the possible loss in the export earning of the red meat value chain should a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak occur in the livestock industry in South Africa, the Red meat Industry Forum found that the loss in market share and the cost of managing an outbreak are potentially far greater than resources required to prevent such an outbreak.

The economic impact of a FMD outbreak can be measured in terms of loss in export earning of directly and indirectly affected industries; consumers deciding not to purchase products that are related to livestock; loss in market share that is difficult and costly to regain; and damage to local production capacity and disruption of local value chains.

The estimated total loss in export revenues in upstream and downstream linkages within the red meat value chain could be as high as R6,4 billion if measured against export values in 2016 (i.e. should a ban persist for a period of 12 months). A drop in demand as a result of less animals being available to be marketed, could lead to further losses for the red meat industry.

Agriculture helps to lift SA out of recession

After two consecutive quarters of decline, the South African economy spluttered back to life in the second quarter of 2017.

Positive contributions to higher economic activity across most industries – in particular agriculture, finance and mining – lifted the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2,5% quarter-on-quarter (seasonally adjusted and annualised).

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Crisis for red meat processing in Australia

Meat and Livestock Australia boss Richard Norton says a crisis is facing the nation’s red meat processing sector because of a high currency, low numbers, and the high cost of production and processing in Australia.

“Everywhere else has low prices and we have high farm gate beef prices — we are out of synch.”

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Strong exports in beef market 

Internationally, strong beef exports continue to support the beef market, according to ABSA Agri Trends. 
Domestically, beef prices may lose some ground after increased uptake during month end.  
International  New Zealand steers traded sideways over the week of 8 September at 5.46NZ$⁄kg and cows traded sideways at 4.32NZ$⁄kg compared to the previous week. In the US, beef prices for the week were mixed as follows: topside traded 1.52% lower at $199.81⁄cwt. Rump was 9.68% lower at $283.22⁄cwt and strip loin was 3.56% higher at $490.75⁄cwt. Chuck traded 1.88% lower at $226.83⁄cwt. Brisket traded 1.9% higher at $203.01⁄cwt. The carcass equivalent price was 0.32% higher at $269.82cwt.   
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International mutton prices are high

Internationally, lamb prices are high in the global market (due to low global inventories), which may start to weigh on consumer demand, according to ABSA Agri Trends.

Locally, demand for lamb and mutton may taper off following increased uptake during month end. In the medium term, prices may gain support as the warmer temperatures are supportive to outdoor grilling.


New Zealand lamb prices traded higher during the week of 8 September compared to the previous week. Lamb prices closed 1.06% higher at NZ$105.0⁄head for 15kg lamb. Lamb prices were 1.10% higher at NZ$147.0⁄head for 21kg lamb. 

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September was “Lambbraaimonth”! 

Lamb and Mutton SA made sure this September was “Lambbraaimonth” and not just “Braaimonth”! With their  “Muscle up you chop!” campaign  in collaboration with the popular “Men’s Health” digital platforms and a video series with Jan Braai, lamb and mutton meat took over the social media world! Watch these videos on the “Healthy Meat- by Lamb and Mutton SA” and Jan Braai Facebook pages! Lamb and mutton SA also made sure all their social media followers was “Braaifit” this heritage day with these “Braaitips” that they shared on their Facebook page! 
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