Press Release | RPO | Task Team on Biosecurity | 26 August 2021
Herewith for your information and attention please find a press release regarding the task team compiled by the Minister of Agriculture on biosecurity:
RPO WELCOMES TASK TEAM RESPONSIBLE FOR BIOSECURITY
The National Red Meat Producers Organisation (RPO) has noted with gratitude and appreciation the appointment of a task team responsible for animal biosecurity by the Honorable Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms. Thoko Didiza.
The RPO congratulates the members of the task team and offers its full co-operation on this important matter.
“The red meat industry is seen as the sleeping giant in South African agriculture, but the constant outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease stand in the way of the success of this industry. The industry is 40% transformed and can make a greater contribution to growing the agricultural sector’s gross domestic product (GDP) and to ensuring income and food security, but then foot-and-mouth disease will have to be controlled,” says Mr. James Faber, chairman of the national RPO.
South Africa has lost its foot-and-mouth disease free zone status with the international animal health organisation, the OIE, and it will take about five years of hard work to get it reinstated. This can only be done if a more in depth strategy is followed.
“Business as usual will therefore not be good enough,” said Mr. Faber.
The RPO is ready to work with the national and provincial departments to roll out a new strategy. The RPO is instrumental in the functioning of the nine provincial Animal Health Forums and is also a member of the national Animal Health Forum. These structures should play a major role in rolling out a new strategy.
The establishment of biosecurity measures at livestock auctions, which has been in place since 1 July 2021, is an encouraging step in the right direction.
According to Mr. Faber, the local development and availability of foot-and-mouth disease vaccines has now become essential.
The red meat industry is in the run-up to a new application for a statutory levy and biosecurity in the industry has been identified as one of the priorities. The RPO believes that foot-and-mouth disease control should be undertaken as a team effort between the industry and government and that the necessary capacity will have to be created to support private / public partnerships.
“The cost of controlling foot-and-mouth disease is small when compared to realising the potential of the industry. Current red meat exports can grow to as much as 20% of production, and this is in national interest, ”says Mr. Faber.
DATE : 26 August 2021
Mr James Faber Mr Gerhard Schutte
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