Botswana Restarts Beef Exports

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By Staff Reporter WINDHOEK Botswana has resumed beef exports from its Lobatse Abattoir to the European Union after the containment of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), which broke out in that country last month. The country’s Department of Animal Health and Production (DAHP) said last week the ban of slaughtering animals that was imposed following the FMD outbreak in the Bobonong Extension Area (Zone 7) had been lifted. From now on, animals to the Lobatse Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) Abattoir will be sourced from areas or zones south of Mokoro disease control cordon fence, which starts from the Mahalpye area going southwards. The EU, according to a press statement from the commission, has agreed to take beef derived from cattle sourced from zones 10, 11, 12 and 13, which are slaughtered at the abattoir. Following the outbreak at Selebi Phikwe, a town that borders Zimbabwe and South Africa, Namibia also slapped a ban on meat imports from its neighbouring country in line with international regulations that are taken in such cases. Although Namibia does not import meat from Botswana, the measures were just cautionary as travellers are likely to bring in animals, meat and meat products into Namibia for their consumption and use. Consequently, Namibia also lifted the ban from all the other zones except for zones 8 and 9 Cleophas, which are on the Bostwana border with Zimbabwe. Dr C Bamhare, Directorate of Veterinary Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, said the country is accepting meat and meat products from the rest of the country except the two zones. A press statement from the Botswana Meat Commission said there are ongoing negotiations at the moment with the county’s trading partners to open Francistown abattoir and the public would be informed in due course after the finalisation of the negotiations. The commission further urged livestock farmers to continue supporting efforts to manage the outbreak and ensure that they comply with livestock products movement restrictions. In addition to this, the BMC has also decided to do away with the measles penalty and while the department of animal health and production will continue to inspect carcasses and detain the measly ones, the BMC would continue to treat them and make them safe for consumption. “The extra cost of this treatment will now be borne by BMC and not the farmers,” it said. This means that the cattle will be paid the same price whether they have measles or not.