The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has published a draft document on a livestock identification and traceability system (LITS) in South Africa.
It is recommended that the norms and standards of a LITS-system, based on international standard requirements and the existing national animal identification system be defined and adopted; that an exchange platform database be built or upgraded; that a suitable implementation authority be established; and that pilot priority LITS-projects and projects thereafter adjust the requirements before full implementation takes place.
The vision is to institute a functional national livestock identification and traceability system for South Africa for the following reasons:
- South Africa is extremely vulnerable to the outbreak of trans-boundary or high impact diseases, given the vulnerability to our neighbouring countries as well as the zoned areas of South Africa.
- The current diseases that we have and the vulnerability to major diseases (FMD for example) make domestic trade and export very difficult and will continue to cost the country billions of Rands in lost income.
- Limited control of animal movements.
- Livestock theft remains a serious problem.
- The management and the identification of animals in both the communal and commercial sector is a challenge.
- The inability to differentiate between different management practices for example growth promoters, Karoo lamb, grass- and grain fed is problematic.
- Disaster management such as drought, floods and disease outbreaks play a role.
- Illegal importation must be combatted.