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National standards contain important information

By Simon Streicher, CEO of SAPPO
SAPPO is however concerned this will be missed by emerging farmers who can’t pay the costs. SAPPO has welcomed the final publication of two National Standards by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) but has warned the regulations may not be accessible to emerging farmers. The two National Standards are: “Humane handling and facilities for the protection of livestock at shows, auction sales, vending sites and livestock pounds” and “Humane transportation of livestock by road”.

The National Standard on humane handling covers a range of issues including livestock health measures and the responsibilities of the people handling livestock at events, auction sales, vending sites and livestock pounds. It also covers topics related to training and the handling of livestock at these events.
“This is important information that farmers, breeders and buyers need to know.Apart from the obvious issues, this standard also explains what the requirements are in terms of watering, feeding and shelter of animals, as well as the identification and marking of animals at events,” says Simon Streicher, CEO of SAPPO.
The National Standard on the transportation of livestock by road covers issues ranging from the procedures required for the loading and off-loading of livestock, the obligations of owners and drivers during transportation and the vehicle requirements for proper transportation.
Intensely involved
“SAPPO was intensely involved in the process to establish these National Standards which, we believe, provide good guidelines for everyone involved in agriculture. However, the costs of purchasing these documents are prohibitive for especially emerging farmers.They will simply not pay the R180 or R160 for these standards and will therefore not know what they contain,” said Streicher.
Own guidelines
He says despite this, many of the guidelines are contained in SAPPO’s own guidelines to farmers which they regularly communicate to members.
“We are certainly playing a role in communicating to our members but there will be many who don’t get to see this.The SABS needs a serious rethink on how it is going to distribute this material to make it accessible to everyone, not only those who can afford it,” Streicher said.
Of particular concern, Streicher added, was that SAPPO is not allowed to distribute the material to members without first paying fees despite the fact that they were members (in some cases chairing) of committees established to compile the National Standards.

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