Welcome to the December 2020 issue of the Red Meat Producers Organisation Newsletter
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APAC rules now in effect

The Agricultural Produce Agents Council’s (APAC) biosecurity rules for livestock agents came into effect on 13 November 2020 as published in the Government Gazette.


The national Red Meat Producers’ Organisation (RPO) welcomes the publication of the biosecurity rules because it will assist in minimising animal diseases in the country. It is of special importance because red meat exports are increasing and local consumer assurance is very important as well.

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Climate advisory for the 2020/21 summer season

According to the Seasonal Climate Watch recently issued by the South African Weather Service,  above-normal rainfall is anticipated in summer rainfall areas.
The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development reports inter rainfall areas received a considerable amount of rainfall. Spring began with some significant rains in parts of the summer rainfall areas, in particular the north-eastern and south-eastern parts of the country. The veld and livestock conditions range between reasonable and poor in most areas. The average level of major dams has increased in most provinces.
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Soldiers help prevent livestock theft along SA’s borders

Soldiers deployed on border protection duties in the Free State in October reported 232 head of livestock recovered in line with reported rises in this type of theft as well as farm attacks in areas close to the Lesotho border.


Livestock theft has long been a problem for farming communities in the Ficksburg, Fouriesburg, Ladybrand, Wepener and Zastron areas abutting the border with the landlocked mountain kingdom.    

Statistics for October released by the Joint Operations Division of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) show soldiers on Free State borders with Lesotho recovered 93 cattle and a further 139 head of small stock (goats and sheep).

The only other province where stolen stock was recovered was the Eastern Cape, which also borders Lesotho.

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Namibian livestock industry devastated by prolonged drought

Beef cattle sales in Namibia have fallen 31% so far this year compared with the same period in 2019, despite producer price increases of 2% for slaughter cattle and 39% for weaners. 

As a result, weaner exports declined 49% between January and August year-on-year, Namibia’s Meat Board reported recently.
Weaner calves traditionally constituted 63% of Namibia’s cattle exports. This was ascribed to a decline in supply and an increase in the demand for cattle for slaughter.
The Board’s statistics indicated that total sheep sales for this period also decreased 56%, despite producer prices increasing 20%.
Jacque Els, CEO of the Namibian Stud Breeders’ Association, said the decline of the commercial and stud livestock production industries is a result of the relentless droughts the country had been subjected to during the past decade. Some stud breeders in the southern parts of the country had lost as much as 90% of their small-stock flocks to date.
Source :

Foot and mouth disease outbreak spreads in Namibia

Foot and mouth disease-prone Namibia has been hit by another outbreak of the highly contagious disease a month after it was detected in the north of the country, the Ministry of Agriculture said.


The disease, which does not affect humans but causes lesions and lameness in cattle and sheep, was first detected in the Ndiyona constituency in the northern region of Kavango East at the end of September.
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Sheep meat marketing on the forefront of trends

Lamb and Mutton SA changed its consumer education programme to adapt to the lockdown period with much more emphasis on radio and online as the printed media.
For a complete report, visit

Strong meat prices signal expensive braais in December

With Christmas only a few weeks away, the current trend in meat prices signals prospects of expensive braais during the 2020 December festive season, according to FNB.

Seasonal demand for meat remains solid and has outweighed the relatively higher slaughter rate in the livestock complex, which would normally have resulted in lower prices due to the increased availability of the product. The pace of livestock slaughter has been relatively strong with cattle, sheep and pig number slaughtered way above the 2019 levels.
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Soil life spans in eroded and protected soils, with reference to conventional and regenerative crop production systems.

oils underpin the requirements for health and longevity of mankind.

They are critical, providing the basis of food production, a store and filter for water resources, the largest organic carbon store and a platform for development. Pressures on the soil resource grow as food demands rise and land degradation increases.

According to the FAO, 36% of the world’s cultivable land is been farmed and in many areas of the world conventional plough-based agriculture is accelerating soil degradation.
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December 2020

Vaccination drive to contain an outbreak of brucellosis

KwaZulu-Natal is currently experiencing a sinister outbreak of Brucellosis.

Brucellosis is an animal-borne bacterial disease-causing abortion, infertility, reduced milk production and weak joints in both livestock and humans following more than 400 cows tested positive in the northern part of the province this year.

According to a press release by the KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development this year’s high number of the infectious spread of Brucellosis threatens to trigger great reproductive health, nutrition and economic failures for the majority of rural animal holders and consumers of raw meat or fresh milk from infected dairy cows, goats and sheep, province-wide.
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Grave concern for condition of Namibia’s FMD-protection fence

An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the region south of the Namibian veterinary cordon fence could potentially destroy the country's livestock production industry in its entirety, according to Thinus Pretorius, Chairperson of the Namibian Livestock Producers' Organisation.
Therefore, the condition of Namibia’s veterinary cordon fence is a serious cause for concern.
Following outbreaks of the disease in Kavango East and Kavango West in October, Pretorius said that the proper management and upkeep of the fence in the north of the country is extremely critical. He said the fence divides the country into a veterinary buffer zone and a veterinary surveillance zone.
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Beef tenderness ‘molecular signatures’ revealed in biomarker study

Ground-breaking analysis has led to the publication of the world’s most robust set of beef tenderness biomarkers and major molecular signatures.


As well as revealing the main molecular signatures contributing to beef tenderness, the research by Ireland’s Agriculture and Food Development Authority has also provided key insights into the interconnectedness among various pathways and processes in the muscle, which are pivotal in producing high quality beef.

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Livestock diseases reported in South Africa

The following reports were received from practices regarding animal health diseases, according to the monthly report on livestock disease trends as informally reported by veterinarians belonging to the Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa (RuVASA).
  • External parasites - blue ticks, resistant blue ticks, heartwater ticks, brown ear-ticks, bont-legged ticks, red-legged ticks, paralysis ticks, tampans, biting lice, sucking lice, sheep scab, mange mites, nuisance flies, midges, mosquitoes, blowflies, screw-worm, Gedoelstia (uitpeuloogsiekte) and nasal bot.
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Trends in the producer price of weaners and beef

During the week of 20 November, the average auction price was R37,79/kg for weaners (200 – 250kg) and R35,52/kg after auction commission, according to AMT.

The price was 1,5% higher compared to the previous week. The increase was caused among others by a lower maize price and the expectation of a further decline in the coming months.
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Trends of the lamb producer price

The producer price of Class A2/A3 lamb was in total 1,8% higher during the week of 13 November compared to the previous week, according to AMT.

The increase in the price can mainly be contributed to a higher mid-month demand. The price was 3,4% lower compared to a month ago and 30,1% higher year-on-year. For the immediate future, the average price of the A2/A3’s is expected to move sideward/downward.
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