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Shortage of livestock vaccine to threaten economy

red-meat(R)

Shopprice S.Africa

The Red Meat Abattoirs Association has issued a caution that the possibility of a shortage of livestock vaccines and diseases prevention poses a threat to the red meat industry and consumers.

Association spokesperson, Gerhard Schutte, says the shortage and backlog of various livestock vaccines was triggered by the Onderstepoort Biological Products centre renovation.

He says the vaccine batch currently supplied to red meat farmers and producers, is not enough to carry them through into the next session.

Schutte has described the existing vaccine backlog as having the potential of affecting the emerging red meat farmers and the meat production. He says there is a huge backlog in terms of the Bluetongue as well as Rift Valley vaccine availability, saying the concern is that they are heading for the next raining session.

According to Schutte, it takes around about eight to 12 weeks to release new vaccine batches, adding: “So we are really asking Onderstepoort Biological Products to produce as much as possible.”

Schutte adds that with winter nearly over and the vaccine period approaching, the continuing shortage has the potential to upset the economy. He says according to their assessment, the situation can be reversed and turned-around with the acceleration of vaccine production line by the Onderstepoort Biological Products.

Schutte points out that if the vaccines are not produced on time, they will definitely see lower production levels.

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