RPO calls for OBP audit
Photo: OFM News

Bloemfontein - The Red Meat Producers Organisation (RPO) says although it is relieved at news that Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP) has made two million doses of bluetongue vaccine available, it is worried that this might be too little too late.

RPO CEO Gerhard Schutte says the release of these vaccines comes at the end of the summer rainfall season and will not aid stock farmers who have already suffered losses.

Schutte says the national Animal Health Forum, of which the RPO is also a member, has requested the director-general of the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries to audit OBP:

'Gerhard Schutte'

He says a big concern is whether or not there will be vaccinations availble by spring 2015. According to Schutte, the red meat industry comprises about 40% emerging farmers who cannot afford to lose livestock due to vaccines not being available at the right time.

Foto: Andries Gouws
Foto: Andries Gouws

Brasilië beplan om sowat $12 miljoen se rooivleis na Suid-Afrika uit te voer, maar die wisselkoers kan egter dié plan bemoeilik. Suid-Afrikaanse vleismarkte is heropen vir Brasiliaanse vleisinvoere nadat invoere van dié land sedert 2005 gestaak is. Invoere van vleis vanuit die Suid-Amerikaanse land is gestaak weens die voorkoms van bek-en-klouseer, asook beessponsvormige harsingontsteking (BSE).

Suid-Afrikaanse gesondheidsbeamptes het egter onlangs weer plaaslike markte heropen vir rooivleis en varkvleis vanaf Brasilië.

A task team was appointed in 2009 to investigate the current classification system and after a lot of work, including research, it led to this symposium.

Summary of presentations

It was pointed out that there are more factors than only age that influence meat quality. A number of changes that has happened after the implementation of the current classification system were pointed out:

  • Beef carcass weight increased from 210 kg in 1993 to 266 kg in 2013 and this increase could pose new challenges to managing final meat quality
  • The use of growth promotors in feedlots became a general practice and probably contributed to an increase in variation in meat
  • The fat content of carcasses reduced drastically if compared to the values previously used
  • 83% of beef slaughtered in the formal sector is from the A class and more than 80% of sheep meat is from the A class