Chicken Industry

Bring back the retired vets

A third food safety area in the master plan is that of veterinary controls, inspections and health certification, both for imports and exports.

These are known as sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and a whole master plan section is devoted to them.

The problem here is a lack of resources – veterinary staff and facilities, and the money to pay for them. What is emerging is a proposal for a public-private partnership (PPP) in which government and the poultry industry (and importers too?) co-operate in funding and staffing facilities.

The SA Poultry Association (SAPA) is also proposing the use of retired and private-sector veterinarians to help alleviate the shortage of staff.

Increased inspections are needed for imports, while health certification is essential for developing an export market in the European Union for uncooked poultry products, including premium-priced breast meat. The master plan’s emphasis on exports will come to nought unless we can provide the health certifications demanded by the EU and others.