Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) Chief Executive Officer, David Falepau, says the challenge faced by government in bolus insertion in communal areas has a great impact on its operations.
Falepau said the loss on traceability of cattle is not a good thing to BMC because 60 percent of “our cattle come from communal areas and it is a mighty challenge to our operations”.
“Our largest EU market requires traceability of cattle and action has to be taken to ensure that we don’t lose credibility with our big market,” he stated.
He suggested that the feedlot programme needs to be further developed to try and combat this challenge.
“The only cattle eligible for the EU market passes through the feedlots which are EU registered,” he said.
“If you do not have the bolus in livestock you cannot sell to EU. It is a form of traceability,” he said.
Beef that will be destined for European markets should be from cattle that have been inserted with the bolus or the Livestock Identification Tracing System 40 days before slaughter. The EU is Botswana’s biggest beef market and it requires traceability of cattle to reduce risk and food residues such as hormones.
The feedlot programme has been in existence for 2-3 years now.
“Farmers should start feedlots for themselves and have themselves registered for EU supply,” said Falepau.
The Department of Veterinary Services last week revealed that they were facing difficulties to insert as many cattle as they would have liked to do with bolus, which helps in identification of cattle.