Botswana: Dept Encourages Auditing of Farmers

Palapye — Department of Veterinary Services has encouraged auditing of farmers in fenced farms, feedlots and communal holdings as part of its on-going animal registration process and its efforts to meet the European Union (EU) lucrative market set targets.

This was said by Dr Olorato Tshireletso from the Veterinary Services during the training of extension officers on Botswana Animal Information Traceable System (BAITS) in Palapye recently.

Dr Tshireletso said auditing farmers was important as the information gained would improve the farming systems and give guidance in enforcing the legislation on farming to meet the standards required by the EU.

He said farmers were required to adhere to the requirement in order for the country to benefit from the EU market.

He therefore pleaded with farmers to be responsible in respect to record-keeping at their farms.

"Farmers should have animal detailed forms. The form should include information such as date of birth, arrival of an animal in a holding, transfer of ownership, movement from the holding, ear tagging information, mortalities and other necessary information to be captured in the system," Dr Tshireletso said.

With regards to animal treatment, Dr Tshireletso said farmers should record all vaccines administered to livestock, adding that it was also important for farmers to produce a report on loss of ear tags so that the information was included in the system in order to avoid double registration in the system.

He pointed out that the extension officer would advise and give guidance on keeping records and filing tag losses as well as making reports.

He indicated that through audits, extension officers would ensure that all livestock keepers under their jurisdiction were registered.

He encouraged extension officers to have farmers inventory and a list of all farmers in the area.

Further, Dr Tshireletso said that the tagging rate in the country, especially in communal areas was low. He said that the regulation states that tagging should be done when calves turn six months old.

Regarding the branding of livestock, he stated that according to the law, zonal branding was necessary in order to trace the origins of the animals.

He said that the zonal brand should be placed on the shoulder and owner's brand on the left rump to cater for change of ownership.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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