The recent South African Boer Goat World Expo once again underlined the breeds’ popularity around the world, but a lack of protocol for the export of the animals is hindering large-scale exports. The Boer Goats Breeders’ Society, however, is currently having discussions with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to reverse the situation.
Michelle Kruger, breed director at the South African Boer Goats Breeders’ Society said the expo attracted many international visitors.
“Among others, we had visitors from the Middle East, New Zealand, Australia, England and a French woman who immediately joined the society.”
Kruger said European Union guidelines, as well as the lack of protocol to put together export regulations, prevents exports to EU countries. The same applies for Australia.
“This does not only have negative consequences for our own farmers, but it also affects the Australian boer goat industry because as the gene pool declines, it has an impact on the quality of the goats.”
Kruger said boer goats can be exported from South Africa to countries which have an agreement with the EU. It can then be exported via a detour route to the EU, but it is a tedious process.
Boer goat exports between Namibia and South Africa flourished after the countries agreed on import and export regulations.
“South African and Namibian breeders only have to adhere to existing regulations between the two countries in order to import and export animals, which can result in a lively operation between South Africa and Namibia.”
Less boer goats
Meanwhile, Hennie Booysen, chief of the South African Boer Goats Breeders’ Society, said the national boer goat herd does not have enough numbers to accommodate the large demand.
“Interest from the Middel East, where boer goats are regarded as a status symbol, is great, however a strong commercial basis should be established before we can compete as a wholesale exporter,” said Booysen.