Government has admitted that some beef exported by Botswana Meat Commission to Europe has been found to contain traces of antibiotics.
This has led to a recall of the consignment as it failed to meet the acceptable European standard.
At a press conference, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Micus Chimbombi, said the problem was caused by delay in the testing of the products before being exported.
“The department of Veterinary Services takes samples and tests them before a product is exported, but we have learned a lesson and don’t expect that to happen in future. If it came quickly we could have avoided the situation.”
Dr. Chimbombi said henceforth his ministry is going to make sure that, before the products are sent out, the results would have been received.
‘’The recall will not cause much harm but we are going to incur some transport costs which we still have to quantify.”
The embattled Botswana Meat Commission has downplayed reports that the European Union has rejected a consignment of about 200 tonnes of beef from Botswana because it failed chemical risk assessment procedures, saying that the recalled beef was 100 tonnes.
The Botswana Meat Commission’s Executive Manager, Dr Stephen Ghanie, also said that the recall was normal but could not state how often they have had to do it in the past. He said the recall was done to protect the beef industry in Botswana.
Dr Ghanie also refused to state whether they had violated the EU strategy on chemical risk procedure, saying they had recalled it to keep the good relation with the EU market.
He said it is not the first time that meat had been recalled but could not state how often it was recalled. He also failed to disclose the amount of money BMC is going to lose, saying they are still working on the financial part of it.
This follows media reports that the European Union had rejected the first consignment of 200 tonnes of meat, which had been exported.