South Africa has a long history of managing animal diseases efficiently and has maintained disease-free zones for several high impact animal diseases over an extended period. Recent outbreaks of animal diseases including Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and African Swine Fever (ASF) have highlighted the vulnerabilities of our livestock sectors to outbreaks of disease.
Currently, South Africa has fragmented systems in place, which tracks the movement of livestock, small stock and game animals that offer challenges with compliance and conformance to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) United Nations Standards, Guidelines and Recommendations.
South African livestock industry and Veterinary Services have embarked on processes to develop and implement a Livestock Identification and Traceability System, South Africa (LITS SA). The LITS SA aims to provide information regarding the origin and movement history of an animal, which is important to supporting animal disease surveillance, response to disease outbreaks, animal disease control, and addressing food safety issues.
With funding assistance from Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), Enterprises University of Pretoria (Enterprises UP) together with experts from the University of Pretoria (UP) carried out stakeholder engagements to understand the sector, status of animal identification and traceability and developed a comprehensive business plan on how LITS SA can be established, maintained, managed and funded. The extensive consultative process was done using online questionnaires and virtual one-on-one meetings with stakeholders.
The business plan outlines the design for the establishment and operation of the national LITS SA to guide the implementation of the system, also included in the plan was a recommended outline design of a data system and related architecture, as well as user requirements for an effective integrated system. Different production methods and the need for real-time data and future technological changes influence the methods of identification.
The business plan supports the industry’s long-term goal to establish a national compulsory animal identification and traceability system with the capacity to enhance our ability to protect animal health, support swift containment of serious animal diseases, address food safety issues, and enhance the sector’s competitiveness and ability to retain or capture local and global market opportunities.
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|Dr Elmar De Wet|
Research Solutions – Executive Manager
Tel: +27 (0)12 434 2350