SA 'will be lucky' to resume exports by 2013
GRAAFF-REINET (SA) – Like most other meat exporters, SA’s four commercial venison exporters have not been able to export since February 28, 2011, because of the country’s Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) status.
With the 6-month hunting season due to start on April 1, Piet Neethling, chairman of the venison exporters’ association, Game Abattoir & Meat Exporters of SA (GAME), said he thought the industry “would be lucky” to export again by 2013.
In the case of venison, he said GAME’s view was that KZN – source of most of the problems – should be excluded as an area for venison for exports, “and we don’t do much culling there in any case”.
The venison industry has been harder hit than most other meat producers because almost all its product is exported. The only other sector as hard hit is ostrich, which has been crippled not by FMD, but by Avian Influenza. “With the export ban, we’re doing about 10% of what we would normally do,” he said. “There just isn’t a big enough market here.”
The FMD ban affects the game skin industry because it takes a substantial source of skins out of the market. GAME hunters shoot 2 500 Kudu, 8 000 Blesbuck, 3 000 Impala and 60 000 Springbok per year. Trophy and sport hunting isn’t affected by FMD.
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