Animal Welfare - some of the best beef in the world
08 May 2020
Meatco requires that all farms registered with it must be members of, and fully adhere to, the FAN Meat animal welfare code, which sets high standards of livestock husbandry within the five freedoms. The welfare code requires the registering of the cattle and allocating them a unique number via an ear tag. Welfare standards, feed regimes and any veterinary treatments are monitored. Namibian law bans the use of animal growth-promoting hormones and antibiotics and these controls, coupled with high standards of animal husbandry, are the reasons the country’s cattle produce some of the best beef in the world.
The farmer delivers cattle to Meatco or organised transportation collects them. All hauliers are registered, and Meatco regularly inspects them upon arrival at its factory. An animal welfare officer inspects the cattle as they are unloaded, ensuring they are healthy and comfortable. The animals are sprayed to reduce the potential presence of external parasites; cattle from the same grouping are kept together, all are supplied food as required and water is available consistently.
Trained staff, who are experts at keeping the cattle as calm as possible and ensuring minimal stress, care for the animals. After a period of rest, the cattle are led into the processing facility where their ear tags are entered into a database along with weight and grade details. This forms a central part of the Natures Reserve traceability programme and enables Meatco to trace every piece of beef throughout the process up to customers across the globe and back to the Namibia farms of origin.
However, Meatco’s commitment to animal welfare goes further. Besides adopting FAN Meat farm assurance standards, Meatco include its own standards like positive predator control and continuously encourages farmers to improve levels of animal husbandry.
In Namibia, predators pose a problem for farmers, but Meatco understands that farming needs to work in harmony with its environment, so it promotes an ethical predator control policy for its finest grade of beef products. This policy prohibits the use of poisons and aggressive traps and prefers to capturing the predators and moving them back into their natural environment.
Meatco has developed the Natures Reserve brand, which stands for quality, for its world-class product. Through this brand, Meatco has built a global reputation for quality excellence. This producer of prime free-range beef is geared towards increasing its footprint in the demanding global market.