Cattle returned to farms: a loss for Producers and Meatco

27 May 2016

The number of cattle sent back to their farm of origin due to invalid or missing documentation has been on the increase since the beginning of 2016. This can damage Meatco’s status as an export abattoir because important requirements that must be met at delivery fall short. Consequently Meatco encourages producers and transporters to adhere to the requirements by producing the necessary valid documents.

Documents required

Meatco urges producers to ensure that all requirements are met when they deliver cattle to the corporation. Animals that are not registered on the NamLITS system or that are registered as coming from a different establishment, or travel with a non-compliant Movement Permit or Cleaning Certificate, will be sent back to the farm of origin.
Producers and transporters must verify that all the information on the Movement Permit (such as the destination, herd ID and establishment from where the animals are transported) is correct. The Producer Sales Advice indicates all necessary documents required, therefore producers must ensure that all these documents are fully completed, signed and attached. In the case where one load of cattle arrives on two separate trucks, each truck must have its own set of documents.

Transporters offloading cattle at Meatco’s abattoir must produce a Cleaning Certificate and ensure that trucks are clean and disinfected prior to the transportation of animals. The certificate must be valid, include the correct information, and be fully completed and stamped. In the absence of a stamp, a copy of the official Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) certificate to disinfect the truck and trailer is compulsory. To avoid animals being sent back to their place of origin, it is imperative that transporters do not make changes on any of the certificates.
“We want to express the seriousness of invalid Cleaning Certificates and Movement Permits. In March and April this year, 150 animals were sent back to their farm of origin due to invalid Cleaning Certificates and Movement Permits. This is a great loss for the business as well as for our farmers,” Louise Vermeulen, Livestock Coordinator: Abattoirs said.

An original Fitness Certificate which is renewable on an annual basis must also accompany the truck. The Fitness Certificate stipulates that the truck must have grids on the floor to prevent animals from slipping. These grids must be fixed to the floor. Methods to enable the removal of grids are allowed. Transporters must inspect their trucks and trailers on a regular basis to ensure there are no sharp edges and that the floors, gates, off-loading ramps and sides are in a good condition.

“To avoid financial losses and frustration due to cattle being returned to them, producers and transporters must verify that all documentation is in place before delivering cattle to Meatco,” Louise added.

Animal Health and Welfare

The Health and Welfare of Animals is another aspect that should be regarded as a priority when delivering cattle to Meatco. It is recommended that producers avoid delivering weak or injured animals. Cows in a late stage of pregnancy, animals with prolapses and those with other genetic birth defects that may cause difficulty in competing for standing space in the compartment, should also not be delivered to Meatco. If animals have lumps under their skin due to healed Lumpy Skin disease and/or injection marks, producers must write a report to Meatco setting out the history of the disease, treatment and when it was carried out.

In conclusion, Meatco thanks transporters for their co-operation and understanding regarding the Animal Health and Welfare protocol as well as the European Union (EU) regulations as set out in this document.
Meatco’s Quality Assurance department and DVS ensure that the company’s export status is maintained by the continuous adherence to these standard procedures.