In his chairman’s report, Dr Vervoort said the NAHF continues to support the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) in implementing the national veterinary strategy. Bovine Brucellosis being the “model disease” has received much attention with the continued guidance of the Brucellosis Steering Committee. For the next year, the NAHF will continue with assistance at provincial level for continued education for veterinarians at provincial meetings, brucellosis awareness talks on many regional radio stations, meetings at shorter intervals with the Steering Committee, in order to continue to increase awareness of basic brucellosis control as well as the continuation of projects running from this year.
The NAHF has been involved in discussions with DAFF and the industry to improve the situation at national and provincial veterinary laboratories, because it is critical for the continued functioning of veterinary services in the RSA.
Other projects which receive attention are the continued FMD-free status of the RSA with visits to the international animal movement control fences, various protocols and VPN’s for the pig and wildlife industry, the closer cooperation of state and private veterinary services with the potential of the private sector performing tasks on behalf of the state and continued efforts to improve the collaboration of all state veterinary services in the RSA.
Dr Vervoort said the NAHF is very involved in the following issues with attendance and input at all meetings:
- Antibiotic resistance is a very topical issue needing continued input from veterinarians to develop the correct policies;
- Animal identification in the RSA is an important topic and is critical to effective disease control and monitoring of animal movement within our borders;
- The success of the compulsory community service veterinary program is of utmost importance to offer veterinary services to communities previously excluded from this service and exposure of newly qualified veterinarians to wider employment opportunities where their services are required;
- Compensation of animals removed from production for disease control purpose is being revisited and upgraded.