NAMIBIA – Namibia will be the first African country to export bone-in beef to China after the two countries signed a protocol on veterinary health conditions and quarantine in Beijing, China, this week.
Under the protocol, beef means the frozen deboned and bone-in meat, excluding head, feet, offal and viscera, and other by-products.
Announcing the deal, minister of agriculture John Mutorwa said the cattle should be born and reared in the foot-and-mouth -free zone of Namibia.
“I want to stress that this new market is open to all Namibians who wish to export beef to China and not for certain companies or individuals only. The government did not negotiate this market for a specific group of people or companies,” he said.
The Chinese market, as opposed to the European Union, Switzerland and Norway markets, will allow for the export of bone-in beef, provided that the animals are slaughtered and the beef is processed and certified at an export-approved slaughterhouse or abattoir by the directorate of veterinary services.
The cattle for export purposes should come from a farm that has not introduced any cloven-hooved animal from a region other than the FMD-free zone of Namibia where vaccination has not been practised during the past 12 months.
Animals shall be resident on the farm for at least 60 days prior to slaughter and should have been vaccinated against anthrax.
The animals should have never been fed any materials originating from ruminants, except milk, and must have never used veterinary medicine and feed additives prohibited by China or Namibia.
“This opportunity will allow the country’s producers to send bigger volumes of beef at an expected much lower processing cost into the Chinese market. The Witvlei abattoir, which has been closed since January this year, should be revived,” said Mutorwa.
Currently, Namibia exports 17 000 metric tonnes of meat products to South Africa per annum, about 10 000 metric tonnes to the European Union (EU), and about 1 850 to Norwegian markets. – Nampa