Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) Public Relations and Communications Manager, Tiro Kganela, says the Maun abattoir is required to cook all meat currently held in storage prior to dispatch to the cannery at Lobatse.
Kganela stated that the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) is having ongoing issues with the Maun water supply to the abattoir and is unable to predict when supplies may resume.
He said due to Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in the Ngamiland region, slaughter cannot commence.
He revealed that the current stock on hand at Maun is 127 tonnes.
Kganela said the cooking tunnel can accommodate 2.4 tonnes per cooking cycle, which takes approximately 4 ÔÇô 6 hours. He said that, with workers on continuous double shifts, it is expected to take approximately 26 days to cook and dispatch all the meat.
“The slaughter capacity of the Maun abattoir is dependent on the size of cattle processed as this affects carcass storage capacity,” said Kganela.
According to Kganela, electrical works were approved to commence July 12 this year. He said that based on the work remaining to commission the water supply, unless DWA are able to resume supplies earlier, it is likely to be up to two months before BMC will be in a position to resume slaughter. He also said that the BMC has obtained rights to obtain water from the river and a cleaning plant for the water is being installed.
The Maun abattoir’s current slaughter capacity is 150 cattle per day.
Kganela stated that both BMC and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) are pursuing the option of exporting live cattle from Zone 2 to neighbouring countries under the OIE guidelines pertaining to equivalence of disease status.
According to Kganela, should this be possible under the regulated control of BMC, this would enable the rapid reduction of the Ngamiland herd to an economic and ecologically sustainable level. He said it would also provide much needed income to Ngamiland farmers in the short to medium term.
He added that the daily slaughter capacity of the abattoir at an average carcass weight (CDM) of around 212 kg is estimated to be between 120 and 150 head.