Departure Register Allows for Traceability

The success of Meatco’s business is rooted in sticking to set standards and requirements. Without adhering to these, the organisation will cease to exist and the farming operations of many producers in the country will be negatively affected. For example, the international markets which Meatco exports beef to (including the European Union and Norway) require that cattle are slaughtered at our abattoirs under the highest and strictest quality-assured standards.

Selma Shipanga, Corporate Communications Officer of Meatco, says in the latest edition of the company’s E-News newsletter, adherence to set standards and requirements also extends to producers who market their cattle to us. Such requirements come in many forms and include the 9040-day requirement. This refers to the requirement that animals are registered on the Namibian Livestock Identification and Traceability System (NamLITS) for at least 90 days, with a minimum of 40 days in the last holding pen.

Another equally important requirement that extends to producers is the Departure Register. According to Norbert Neumann, Meatco’s Livestock Procurement Coordinator for Factories, the Departure Register is a national document that indicates the number of cattle being transported, as well as the animal’s tag numbers. “The Departure Register needs to be filled out correctly and attached to an Animal Movement Notice when transporting animals from one holding farm or assembly point to another,” says Norbert.

He adds that each farmer who is registered with the Meat Board is required to have an Animal Departure book in hisher possession for any animal movements. “The farmer is expected to complete a Departure Register in triplicate. The white paper (the original) must be attached to the movement permit accompanying the animal load. The yellow copy is a receipt for the person receiving the cattle, while the blue copy is kept in the book for reference by the producer sending the animals,” he says. When handing back the used permit together with the Departure Register at any office of the Directorate Veterinary Services (S), the information is captured on NamLITS.

Norbert says the Departure Register is important because it keeps a traceability record of all animals being moved in the country. “Thanks to the tag number it gets when it is six months old, each animal can be traced from holding pen to holding pen should there be any reason to do so. This can include an outbreak of a proclaimed animal disease, in which case tracing the animal back to its place of origin can be done through the Departure Register,” he says.

Through the Departure Register, animal movement from an area experiencing a disease outbreak can also be traced to prevent further spread. Norbert concludes by saying that transporting animals without a Departure Register can be linked to animal theft.

Source : New Era