SAPA calling for retired veterinarians to join health inspection teams

  • 29 October 2021
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According to Izaak Breitenbach, general manager of the Broiler Organisation of SAPA the government is doing extremely well with the resources that they have available to them, however the current need to look at and monitor avian influenza, African swine fever and foot-and-mouth-disease all at once is placing the system under severe pressure. He says that by enhancing the inspection services (by re-introducing retired veterinarians) can lessen the burden and contribute towards the swift containment of these diseases.

“Our proposal has already been discussed with the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and in principle officials have agreed with the idea,” says Breitenbach and adds that this intervention will however only come to fruition when the agriculture department’s newly appointed committee on biosecurity had convened.

He furthermore expresses the hope that the committee will be hands on and focus on implementation rather than only advising the department.

According to Breitenbach, SAPA’s board of directors had discussed the fact that the implementation of any biosecurity strategies would probably happen on a user-pay basis, something poultry farmers will not be happy about.

More proposed interventions

SAPA also planned to request that the agriculture department employed a single veterinarian to handle poultry exports to the EU.

“We were scheduled to discuss this matter with the department late last month, but the meeting was cancelled at the last minute. We hope to discuss these matters soon as the industry truly needs the support of public-private partnerships,” says Breitenbach.

In an effort to further strengthen state capacity, Breitenbach conducted virtual training of 120 South African Revenue Service (SARS) officers during August. The trainees included physical inspectors and senior officials.  

* The article first appeared in Farmer’s Weekly.