In an interesting development in the ostrich industry in the country, Multipurpose Abattoir on Friday slaughtered 18 ostriches from Botswana’s biggest ostrich farms of Talana Farms.
This was confirmed by Talana Farms Production Manager, Wellington Shamboko.
“ Yes, I can confirm that we have sent 18 birds to the abattoir and have since received news that the birds have all been slaughtered this morning,” he said.
He said the meat from the birds will all be exported to the European Union, which has recently given the country the green light for the country’s ostrich beef.
Shamboko also said that they will, in the next two weeks, send some more birds to the abattoir.
“This, hopefully, will be a continuous process as we already have around 1,000 birds which are almost all ready for slaughter,” he said.
Currently, he said, South Africa, which could have been their competitor in the market, is not selling any birds to the EU because of outbreaks of birds flu that have ravaged the country.
Asked if he thinks the business is sustainable, bearing in mind that there are very few ostrich farmers in the country, Shamboko said that their hope is that the abattoir’s move s to start slaughtering ostriches will encourage more people to venture into the industry and make the business sustainable.
“We just hope that this will bring more people into the business and make it sustainable as a huge EU market is facing shortages of ostrich beef,” he said.
The abattoir built by the government in an effort to diversify the beef industry from cattle industry was forced to close because of lack of birds to keep it running. Currently, the abattoir slaughters both birds and cattle.
Efforts to talk to the managers of the abattoir were futile.