Ban on live cattle exports?

14 September 2002

The government is considering banning Namibian livestock producers from exporting live cattle, said the Namibian agriculture minister, Helmut Angula, last month. Angula said that farmers might be banned from, or taxed for, exporting live cattle in twelve months' time. In the meantime, cattle and small stock producers will be permitted to export animals 'on the hoof' for the next yearwhile the government solved various related problems. The government's objective is to ensure that all animals are slaughtered locally. Reacting to a recent call by president Sam Nujoma for exports 'on the hoof' to be stopped, Angula said the move was in line with the current policy and thinking in his ministry. Local processing of products is being promoted in order to add value to the Namibian economy. The government is negotiating for market access to the EU for Namibian meat containing bones, especially lamb which, if granted, would result in increased capacity at local abattoirs to slaughter local stock for export. At present, the export of meat on the bone is not allowed because of fears about foot and mouth disease in the EU, which the Namibian government says are unfounded. The government has also said it is very confident about getting these restrictions removed. Angula, however, acknowledged there was no law banning export of live cattle, but said there were provisions for a possible tax or levy on such exports. He said that the government also recognised that a lack of land in communal areas was forcing many communal farmers to sell livestock to feedlots outside the country.

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