The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry yesterday again urged stakeholders in the meat industry not to use seal oil and seal meat in livestock feed, as it is strictly prohibited.
This is in accordance with the requirements of international trading partners in livestock and livestock products, reads a statement issued by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Abraham Nehemia.
The European Union (EU), one of the most important export destinations for Namibia’s meat, adopted regulations in October 2002 that laid down strict animal and public health rules for the collection, transport, storage, handling, processing, use and disposal of all animal by-products.
However, a ban on feeding mammalian materials, (including ruminant material) back to ruminant animals has been in place in the EU since 1994, the agriculture, water and forestry permanent secretary reiterated.
The reason for the ban was to prevent the spread of mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), which can also affect people when they eat infected animals, the statement reads further.
Article 22 of Regulation (EC) 1774/2002 bans the recycling of processed animal proteins. “Therefore seal oil and seal meat, which are both derived from seals (which are mammals) should not be fed to livestock and, therefore, should not be mixed with livestock feed,” he stated.
This does not apply to fish oil, which can be mixed with livestock feed.
Since September 1998, Namibia has banned the acquisition, disposal, sale or use as a farm feed for ruminants, any product that consists of, or contains any carcass meal, meat or bone meal or any other product, including hoofs or horns, or blood meal obtained from ruminants.
“As a trading partner of the EU with regard to livestock products, Regulation (EC) 1774/2002 is also applicable to Namibia, if as a country we are to continue accessing the EU beef market, as well as other important markets like China, Russia and others,” the statement reads.
“Consequently, the ministry urges all meat industry role players to take note of Namibia’s obligations with respect to these requirements of our trading partners and to comply with them accordingly,” he said.