The National Emergent Red Meat Producers’ Organisation (NERPO) is concerned about the current levels of stock theft in South Africa, which is costing the country R800 million a year.
During the organisation’s annual general meeting (AGM) held in Pretoria, they indicated that they are worried about allegations of police involvement in stock theft syndicates.
In their list of resolutions, the organisation calls on to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) for more effective methods to control the problem, as well as for heavier sentences for culprits, as is currently the practice in Namibia and Zimbabwe.
NERPO calls on DAFF to improve herd identification through branding and, ultimately, the implementation of individual animal identification and traceability.
“This will not only serve to track animals during stock theft, but will also enable market participants to have a comprehensive traceability system and improve the tracking of animal movement for disease control.”
ENDORSEMENT AND PRAISE
The organisation said it endorses resolutions made by the African Farmers’ Association of South Africa (AFASA) during their AGM with regards to speedy land reform, post-settlement support programmes, and improved access to finance, the implementation of a transformation barometer, efficient drought and disaster management and access to water and energy.
The organisation praised DAFF for maintaining a foot and mouth disease (FMD) free status since 2014. They urge government to increase security to keep the disease out of the FMD free part of the country to ensure the country retains its annual income of R6 billion from the livestock industry.
They also urge government to step up the production of vaccines to ensure all herds are vaccinated.
NERPO added their support to the controversial land ceiling principle, but said that commodities and agro-ecological zones must be taken into consideration. They added that all excess land must be expropriated with fair compensation.