Amid rising concerns over the continued outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in the Mtubatuba district, the KZN Agricultural Union, Kwanalu, in partnership with the KZN Red Meat Producers’ Organisation (RPO), hosted a livestock biosecurity workshop in Mooi River to address relevant issues.
Industry leaders speaking, and in attendance, included Registrar of the Agricultural Produce Agents Council (APAC) Francois Knowles, Chairman of the KZN Red Meat Producers’ Organisation, Angus Williamson, Foot and Mouth Disease Forum Willem van Jaarsveld, Kwanalu President Peter-John Hassard and Kwanalu CEO Sandy La Marque.
Among the topics discussed were the challenges, needs and potential solutions pertaining to Foot and Mouth disease, Agricultural Produce Agents Council (APAC) regulations (Act 12,1992) and other relevant biosecurity issues.
“Biosecurity at farms and sale points are of the utmost importance, and are the only way we can ensure our export footprint is expanded on. We need to embrace the APAC regulations and ensure that biosecurity is upheld throughout the province,” said Williamson.
“Until authorities provide programmes across the entire industry, create awareness, and allocate sufficient budget and resources to assist in the organisation and implementation of control measures, it is not enough to stop an outbreak in its tracks,” said La Marque.
“Each producer, livestock and landowner must ensure that any disease does not reach his produce by “self-regulating” bio-security at the farm gate. The private sector will continue to lobby for growth, market opportunity, traceability and seek sustainable farming practices through technology to bring about food security, employment and a vibrant inclusive industry contributing to the economy,” said La Marque.