The World Health for Animals (OIE), via Dr. Neo Mapitse, a professional vet, who is also the regional envoy for the SADC region for this organization, has given a green light on how to revamp the diminishing stakes of the beef industry in Botswana in the face of Foot and Mouth Disease(FMD) concerns.
Dr Mapitse offered several solutions, some of them outright, others, with an enlightening but still effective angle, to a committee of Botswana’s national assembly, looking into the reason for the negative show of fortune in the sector.
One of the solutions, the vet says, is to provide a separation between buffalo and cattle by imposing an infrastructural divide that will see the wild fauna keep off the grounds where cattle abound, thus detouring the country off the route of countries that may be heading to FMD cordoned-off zone, in the future.
Having worked before with the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) in Botswana, Dr Mapitse realizes that buffs are going nowhere and for this reason, the country can do best to maintain wildlife standards that are satisfactory to the OIE stipulations.
Botswana Meat Export Statistics
The biggest market for beef from Botswana is the Eurozone, which apparently enforces some of the firmest rules on member nations that export the commodity, even with the support of other global bodies like the UN agency concerned with food resources, as well as, chief players in the global and continental banking sector.
Most countries that have a lush livestock industry including Botswana, try to keep off FMD listings, to eschew diminishing of fortunes as blocks of countries cannot accept any imports from markets that they quarantine.
The Botswana case is a little uplifting for not only does the country have what is considerably the best abattoir in the continent, which is situated in Lobatse, but strives to save face with policies that keep the issue of FMD from soiling the sector.
The recent cuts in beef production capacities may have a root in Foot and Mouth Disease zones, like Okavango, where the BVI carried out a vaccination drive that veterinarians and other officials labeled a clout in the eye. This is why the experienced Dr Mapitse has doubted how the government could still be dragging its feet on the vaccination issue when the niche has gone tech and the flow of research findings has improved through sharing media.
Botswana has stayed behind the scenes beginning 2009/2010, when it last let the all-important OIE on the state of its FMD fight, as well as, reigning standards of its beef export.
The current parliamentary proceedings continue today, February 18.