Natural progression from live animal to carcass to meat:
- Animals are transported, offloaded and kept for slaughter in a manner that does not involve unnecessary pain.
- Clean water is provided continuously.
- Depending on the time they have to wait for slaughtering, food, in accordance with their needs, is provided.
- The animals are handled in a humane way at all times.
- Inspectors perform an ante mortem examination to determine if the animals are healthy and ready for slaughtering.
- Sick animals are isolated and dead animals are disposed of by an acceptable method which may include rendering, burning or denaturation.
- Care is taken that only meat from healthy animals reaches the consumer.
- All animals are inspected to determine whether they have any latent diseases.
- A routine meat inspection is done on the carcass and offal of each animal by trained meat inspectors.
- Carcasses are now classified. Meat is classified to provide the consumer information relating to the age and fat thickness on the carcass.
- After final approval, the carcasses are chilled immediately to stop germs/micro organisms from multiplying or causing accidental contamination. Meat is now kept cold and the temperature is kept constant until the product reaches the consumer. (It is important not to break the cold chain from after slaughtering until the meat is cooked and consumed).
- During the entire process, hands are washed regularly, instruments are sterilised (boiled) and clean protective clothes are worn daily.
- All surfaces coming into contact with meat are cleaned and sanitized on a routine basis.
- The health care of the workers handling the meat is a high priority to eliminate problems with regard to germs/micro organisms or contagious diseases that can be transmitted to the meat.
- A great effort is made to make certain that meat leaving the abattoir is clean, safe, nutritious and in a wholesome condition to ensure a relatively long shelf life.
The Red Meat Abattoir Association (RMAA) has compiled a summary document containing the laws, regulations and codes regarding animal welfare – handling and transportation of livestock. Please contact them for information. Write to marketing [at] rmaa.co.za or call 012 349 1237/8/9.
National Society Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA)
Veterinarian: vet [at] nspca.co.za
“How many abattoirs adhere to the clauses that animals must not experience unnecessary pain, have continuous access to clean H20 and be provided with food if kept for longer periods of time?” This is among the questions asked by meat inspectors and the NSPCA.
International business environment
- Visit the website of the International Meat Secretariat (IMS) – www.meat-ims.org. The IMS brings together meat and livestock organisations throughout the world.
- Google “World Meat Congress” to find details of the next annual event.
- An international website is www.meatpoultry.com.
- www.iso.org – website of the International Organization for Standardization. The ISO 17020 gives assurance of the quality of meat and meat products from recognized abattoirs.
- www.meatscience.org – website of the American Meat Science Association
Major meat exporting countries are Australia, the USA, Brazil, the European Union (EU) and Canada. Major importing countries are the USA, Japan, Russia, the EU, Mexico and South Korea.
South Africa: imports and exports
The following are the requirements for registering to supply the meat export market:
- Animals need to be individually and permanently identified at least 3 months before slaughter.
- Animals must be of South African origin.
- Farmers must supply a detailed plan of their farm, buildings and fences.
- Don’t use hormones, steroids, growth stimulants, animal by-products or feed stimulants.
- Only natural food may supplement veld.
- Veld must be clearly marked, identified, rotated, and rested for one season before being used.
- Feed must be stored in a dry area away from chemicals and fertilisers and be kept safe from vermin, mould and dust.
- Feed and water troughs must be clean and well maintained.
- Stock Registers must contain the following information: a) Dates of arrival at the farm. b) Origin. c) Identification numbers. d) Any treatment and vaccination dates. e) Number of deaths (with reasons). f) The dates of dispatch to the Abattoir.
- Disease Control Measures: a) Notify State Vet in the event of the outbreak of a disease. b) Treated animals must be kept in a separate camp. c) Intra-muscular injections must only be given in the neck. d) Observe the stipulated withdrawal periods for any therapeutic remedy used. e) Send the head of any animal that dies to the nearest Vet. To check for Mad Cow Disease.
- Dipping areas must be sealed when not in use.
- Record all chemicals used.
- All chemicals must be environmentally friendly.
- Allow the export Abattoir to conduct soil, water and feed analysis for heavy metals prior to registration.
- Transport must be well coordinated and the trucks should never be overloaded.
- Cattle branding must be completed 3 weeks before slaughter.
- De-horn cattle before weaning.
- Animals must be subjected to minimum stress during the 3 week period before slaughter.
Included in the annual Bureau for Food & Agricultural Policy (BFAP) Baseline is a comparative look at the different meat sorts and the global picture of how well they are doing. Find the document at www.bfap.co.za.
Local business environment
- Keep your eye on websites like www.rmaa.co.za and www.butchersa.co.za.
- Market outlook can also be found in the agricultural weeklies – Landbouweekblad and Farmer’s Weekly – or visit their websites: www.landbou.com and www.farmersweekly.co.za.
- The latest Abstract of Agricultural Statistics includes categories like “Cattle numbers, numbers slaughtered and average prices of beef”, “Production and consumption of veal”, “Sheep, lambs and goats – numbers slaughtered at abattoirs, average prices of mutton, production and consumption”. Find it on www.daff.gov.za.
South Africa currently has approximately 431 abattoirs slaughtering cattle, pigs and sheep on an annual basis. Approximately 40% of all slaughterings are performed by abattoirs that may slaughter an unlimited number of animals (Class A) and approximately 60% of cattle are slaughtered by highly regulated abattoirs (Class A & B). Most of these abattoirs have linkages with feedlots. Slaughter statistics can be found at www.levyadmin.co.za, website of the Red Meat Levy Admin (RMLA). South Africa’s meat imports exceed her exports, making the country a net importer. Local markets include butcheries, supermarkets, hotels, institutions, colleges, schools and restaurants.
Source: A Profile of the South African Beef Market Value Chain 2015
- Included in the 2017-2026 BFAP Baseline is a study “How important is meat safety and origin to South African meat consumers?” Find the document at www.bfap.co.za.
- The Caterwings 2017 Meat Price Index revealed that meat prices in South Africa are some 20% lower than the world average — but on average its citizens have to work twice as hard to afford it. Find the story at www.perishablenews.com/index.php?article=0062444
For the newcomer
One strategic objective of National Emergent Red Meat Producers Organisation (NERPO) is to pursue business opportunities in the livestock and meat production chain for the advantage and benefit of the emerging producers. Visit www.nerpo.org.za.
|Photo used courtesy of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF)|
National strategy and government contacts
The Agricultural Policy Action Plan (APAP), the agricultural companion to the National Development Plan (NDP), deals with abattoirs under the “Red meat value chain” heading. Noting that 10% of the country’s meat is imported, APAP identifies improving “market linkages with the vast herd in the former homelands” and improving veld and herd management could double current live stock products. Strategically placed abattoirs and training in production standards, meat quality and value added products could assist smallholder farmers. The document identifies 17 challenges and constraints, but nonetheless (as does the NDP) believes that the industry has “a huge potential to expand and increase its impact in the economy” (APAP, 2014:30).
Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) Find the Abattoir lists, Veterinary Public Health Manuals and other information under “Veterinary Public Health”. Take the “Branches” option at www.daff.gov.za. Application forms, Guidelines and contacts at DAFF are all available.
Legislation governing the prevention of cruelty to animals specifically pertaining to transport, stunning and sticking of animals at abattoirs include:
- The Animal Protection Act
- Meat Safety Act (Act 40 of 2000)
Regulation 73 under the Meat Safety Act, 2000 (Act no. 40 of 2000) prescribes the following regarding stunning pistols: (i) The abattoir owner must ensure that the captive bolt pistol is silenced, in a good state of repair and that it is used according to the methods approved by the national executive officer; and (ii) The correct grade of cartridge for the type of animal must be used to ensure maximum bolt speed and penetration of the skull.
The meat inspectors are responsible for the welfare of animals at abattoirs. When stunning devices and operators are not proficient or adequate, animals suffer whilst being slaughtered. For a simple outline of these Acts refer to www.rmaa.co.za.
Other relevant legislation:
- Agricultural Product Standards Act (Act 119 of 1990)
- Animal Diseases Act (Act 35 of 1984)
- Animal Identification Act (Act 6 of 2002)
- Fertilisers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act (Act 36 of 1984)
- Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act 54 of 1972)
- The Health Act
- The Water Act
- Local Authority Health Regulations
- The Livestock Theft Act
- Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Act (Act 19 of 1982)
Directorate: Food Safety & Quality Assurance Tel: 012 319 7306 www.daff.gov.za This directorate is responsible for setting national standards, including those for abattoirs.
Department of Health Tel: 012 395 8789 www.health.gov.za The food control section within the department is responsible for ensuring the safety of food in South Africa.
National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) Tel: 012 341 1115 www.namc.co.za Relevant Statutory Measures, registration forms, abattoir levy forms etc can be obtained from the Red Meat Levy Admin company (details under heading 6).
South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) – Commercial Tel: 012 428 7911 www.sabs.co.za The following SABS Standards are applicable to this industry: (i) (SABS 0331) Translocation of certain species of wild herbivore (ii) (SANS 10391:2004) The welfare of wild animals transported by sea (iii) (SANS 1884-1:2004) Holding Pens for temporary housing of animals – Part 1 (iv) (SANS 1884-2:2007) Holding Pens for temporary housing of animals – Part 2 (v) (SANS 1884-3:2008) Holding Pens for temporary housing of animals – Part 3 (vi) Food Safety Certification programmes as well as Product Certification: Eurepgap, BRC, HACCP, ISO 22000 (vii) Microbiological examination of foods
- Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF) Tel: 079 162 6465 www.redmeatsa.co.za The RMIF represents all the nationally representative role player organisations in the Red Meat industry.
- Red Meat Abattoir Association (RMAA) Tel: 012 349 1237/8 www.rmaa.co.za The Red Meat Abattoir Association (RMAA) is a representative forum for abattoir owners in South Africa. The mission of the Association is to provide representation and services to the abattoir industry, which will ensure the highest standards of meat safety and quality to the benefit of the industry and the consumer. Training is provided to abattoir personnel as part of the challenge to improve and maintain hygiene and safety standards of meat. The RMAA website gives information on industry news, services offered by the RMAA, legislation relevant to the industry, price and health information and industry products.
- Association for Meat Importers and Exporters (AMIESA) Tel: 011 803 6574 www.amiesa.co.za
- Federation of Red Meat Producers SA
- Game Abattoir and Meat Exporters of South Africa (GAME-SA) Tel: 049 891 0622 www.gamesa.co.za
- Gauteng Meat Traders Employees Union Tel: 011 646 0290
- Meat Statutory Measure Services (MSMS) Tel: 012 348 7572
- National Council of SPCAs: Farm Animal Unit Tel: 011 907 3590/1/2 www.nspca.co.za
- National Emergent Red Meat Producers Organisation (NERPO) Tel: 012 492 1383 www.nerpo.org.za
- National Federation of Meat Traders (NFMT) Tel: 011 646 0290
- Red Meat Levy Admin (RMLA) Tel: 012 348 7572 www.levyadmin.co.za
- Red Meat Producers Organisation (RPO) Tel: 012 348 1933 www.rpo.co.za
- Red Meat Research & Development South Africa Tel: 012 361 2333 www.rmrdsa.co.za
- South African Feedlot Association (SAFA) Tel: 012 667 1189 www.safeedlot.co.za
- South African Meat Industry Company (SAMIC) Tel: 012 361 4545 www.samic.co.za
- South African National Consumers’ Union Tel: 012 428 7122 www.sancu.co.za
- South African Ostrich Business Chamber (SAOBC) Tel: 044 272 3336 www.ostrichsa.co.za
- South African Pork Producers Organisation (SAPPO) Tel: 012 361 3920 www.sapork.com
- SA Meat Processors Association (SAMPA) Tel: 011 840 4601 / 083 600 0522
- South African Federation of Livestock Agents Tel: 012 460 2054
Training and research
Learnerships and apprenticeships are a combination of on-the-job learning along with some theoretical training. The major part of the training can be offered on the farm. Find information on learnerships in the “Agricultural education & training” chapter, or at www.agriseta.co.za (under “Skills delivery” option). Find the links, also on the AgriSETA website, to the following qualifications: (i) National Certificate: Abattoir Slaughtering Processes (ii) National Certificate: Abattoir Supervision (iii) National Certificate: General Abattoir Processes (iv) Further Education and Training Certificate: Meat Classification (v) Further Education and Training Certificate: Meat Examination.
Training provided by the Red Meat Abattoir Association (RMAA) and its Abattoir Skills Training company includes: 1. Animal handling 2. Auditors Course 3. Basic introduction to the Abattoir Industry 4. Beef slaughter 5. Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) 6. HACCP Awareness 7. HMS & HACCP 8. Hygiene Awareness 9. Introductory Abattoir Hygiene Course 10. Meat Inspection (Refresher Course) 11. Pork Slaughet 12. Small Stock Slaughter. Learnerships include FETC Meat Examination and NC General Abattoir Processes. Bursaries for the training of health officers are also available. The RMAA also assist members apply for Discretionary Grant funding from AgriSETA. For more information visit the RMAA website, www.rmaa.co.za.
- Agricultural Colleges like Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute do abattoir training. Find the list of these colleges in the “Agricultural education and training” chapter.
- ARC-Animal Production Food Science and Technology Tel: 012 672 9111/ 341 www.arc.agric.za Research is done in meat production, carcass evaluation, meat technology, quality, microbiology, biochemistry, chemistry – all relevant areas.
- FoodBev SETA Tel: 011 253 7300 www.foodbev.co.za FOODBEV is the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) responsible for facilitating education and training in the food and beverages manufacturing sector. This includes processed and preserved meat.
- The National Federation of Meat Traders has developed practical and easy-to-follow instructional training videos and course material for meat cutting technicians in English, Afrikaans and Zulu, which are available on request. Contact them at 011 646 0290.
- Find Red Meat Research & Development South Africa under the “associations” heading.
- SA Butchery Training School Tel: 012 330 3652 www.butcherschool.co.za
- Read about the Meat Classification Course at www.samic.co.za, website of the SA Meat Industry Company (SAMIC).
- Stellenbosch University Meat Science Professor Lourens Hoffman Tel: 021 808 4747 lch [at] sun.ac.za, www.sun.ac.za
- University of Fort Hare Dr Voster Muchenje Tel: 040 602 2059 vmuchenje [at] ufh.ac.za, www.ufh.ac.za
- University of the Free State Food Science Tel: 051 401 2729 hugoA [at] ufs.ac.za www.ufs.ac.za
www.worldofmeats.co.za lists numerous abattoirs, meat suppliers and butcheries across the country.
These companies are involved throughout the value chain, from livestock production to having their own abattoir facilities, to distribution of meat products.
- Ambleside Meats Tel: 036 488 1200 http://amblesidefarm.co.za
- Beefmaster (Pty) Ltd Tel: 053 441 9100 www.beefmaster.co.za
- Cavalier Group Tel: 011 826 6452 www.cavalier.co.za
- Chalmar Beef Tel: 011 964 1049 www.chalmarbeef.co.za
- Country Meat Tel: 011 465 0664 www.countrymeat.co.za
- GEO WILD Halaal Meat Tel: 078 678 6278 www.geowildhalaal.co.za
- GWK Meat Tel: 053 631 0843 www.gwk.co.za
- Hercules Cold Storage Tel: 012 379 6016 www.herculesfoods.com
- Kanhym Tel: 012 347 8882 www.kanhym.co.za
- Karan Beef Tel: 011 613 1851 www.karanbeef.co.za
- LAW Holdings Tel: 054 833 0041 www.lawmeat.co.za
- Meat World www.meatworld.co.za
- Midland Group Tel: 016 420 2800 www.midlandgroup.co.za
- Ramburg Beef www.ramburg.co.za
- Rhys Evans Group Tel: 056 343 3311 www.re.co.za
- Sernick Tel: 056 631 0120 www.sernick.co.za
- Sparta Beef Tel: 051 991 9200 www.sparta.co.za
See the list of companies in livestock chapters like “Beef” and “Pork”.
Abattoir services and inputs
- AMT Tel: 073 140 2698 www.amtrends.co.za Feasibility studies
- Andisa Agri Tel: 082 807 5587 www.andisaagri.com Value chain analysis, training and rural development
- Read about the services at the ARC – Animal Production Institute under the previous heading.
- Butcher and Meat Process Equipment (BMPE) Tel: 011 664 8212 www.bmpe.co.za
- CJP Chemicals Tel: 011 494 6700 www.cjpchemicals.co.za
- Claasens Designs Tel: 058 852 1632 www.claasensdesigns.co.za
- Crown National (Pty) Ltd Tel: 011 201 9100 www.crownnational.co.za Supplier of spices and equipment
- DAS Food Systems Tel: 021 552 9165 www.dasfs.co.za
- Deli Spices Tel: 021 505 2000 www.delispices.co.za
- DIVAC Abattoir Plant and Project Design Engineers Tel: 044 874 2720 www.divac.co.za Design, develop and supply specialised equipment, plan and design by-product, chilling and freezing facilities according to SA, EU and USDA Export standards.
- EVN Africa Consulting Services www.evn.co.za Offices in Limpopo, Gauteng and KZN.
- Freddy Hirsch Group (Pty) Ltd Tel: 021 507 4500 www.freddyhirsch.co.za Contact details of branches throughout Southern Africa available on the website. They are suppliers of spices, casings and equipment to meat industry.
- Exim International Tel: 021 511 4009 www.exim.co.za Spices, casings, machinery, packaging
- International Meat Quality Assurance Services (IMQAS) Tel: 012 348 5115/6 www.imqas.co.za IMQAS acts as an independent agent at an abattoir that ensures a safe and wholesome product is supplied to the consumer through compliance with regulations of the Meat Safety Act (Act 40 of 2000) and meat inspection at the abattoir. Find details of services (e.g. meat inspection) on their website. Traceability is vital, and as it is approached positively, it is the single most important tool in the meat and livestock industry for future market development. Contact IMQAS about services here.
- JF Equipment Tel: 011 760 3494 www.jfequipment.com
- Jarvis Products Corporation RSA (PTY) LTD Tel: 011 454 0100 www.jarvissouthafrica.co.za
- JEC Environmental Services Tel: 033 940 0450 www.jecenviro.co.za Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) applications and other services
- John F Marshall Tel: 011 842 7100 www.johnfmarshall.co.za
- JSE www.jse.co.za/beef Livestock contracts
- Kentmaster SA (PTY) LTD Tel: 011 455 3748 www.kentmaster.com Carcass cutting tools and saws
- Marel Food Systems Tel: 011 823 6940 http://marel.com/south-africa
- MBB Consulting Engineers Tel: 021 887 1026 www.mbb.co.za
- Visit www.meatmanager.co.za for MEATMAN software developed by Freddy Hirsch for the meat industry. Call 083 283 7191.
- MegaSolve Tel : 012 460 7834 www.abaserve.com Absaserve food solutions, designed for abattoirs, wholesalers and meat-processing industries.
- Mitchell Group Tel: 011 972 4111 www.mitchellgroup.co.za
- Van Vliet de Wet & Partners Tel: 011 726 8195 Planning, design and construction of plant and equipment for abattoirs and for the meat industry
- Waste Resolution Technologies Tel: 083 375 8326 / 082 841 4996 http://waste-resolution-technologies.co.za The use of alkaline hydrolysis to deal with abattoir waste
Websites and publications
- Consult the National Agricultural Marketing Council’s Trade Probe reports at www.namc.co.za. Frequently you will find aspects of the meat sector covered.
- The latest annual A Profile of the South African Beef Market Value Chain on DAFF‘s Directorate Marketing’s web pages at www.daff.gov.za looks at beef exports. Also find the other livestock value chain publications here.
- Also on the DAFF website under “Resource centre” are the following: “Import requirements for fresh meat”, “Procedures for the export of fresh meat”, “Buy with confidence … Buy approved meat”, “Our meat is safe”, “Safe meat” and “Slaughterings and consumer confidence”.
- www.butchersa.co.za is “Your News and Information portal to the Abattoir, Butchery, Meat Processing and Deli Industries”
- The DAFF-NAMC Trade Probe 70 (Aug 2017) contains a trade review of the South African meat industry. Find the document at www.namc.co.za.
- Publications like the following are available at the RMAA at 012 349 1237/8/9 or www.rmaa.co.za: (i) Manual for the Abattoir Industry – a manual which describes all aspects of the abattoir industry and is an ideal source of reference for any person involved in the abattoir industry; (ii) Meat Inspectors Manual: Red Meat – this manual contains the minimum norm of required knowledge for all persons involved with hygiene control and meat inspection at abattoirs. It also serves as a valuable reference with regard to diseases and condemnations; (iii) FOA [United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organisation] Manual on Meat Inspection for Developing Countries is strongly recommended for training and reference purposes. Industry relevant articles, news and events will be available and updated on a regular basis in the “articles” section of the RMAA website.
- Call 012 842 4017 or email iaeinfo [at] arc.agric.za for the following publications, available from ARC-Agricultural Engineering: (i) Mishanteringshandleiding vir intensiewe diereproduksie-eenhede in SA (ii) Processing of Meat Products (Russians, tongue, hamburger patties, polony, frankfurters, bacon, ham, sausages).
- Siebert, T. 2018. Red meat processing. Farmlink. Available at www.arc.agric.za/Agricultural%20Sector%20News/Red%20meat%20processing.pdf
- Schönfeldt, H.C. & Hall, N. 2012. Red Meat in Nutrition and Health – Communicating current science about red meat as part of a healthy South African diet. Pretoria: University of Pretoria. Available at https://static1.squarespace.com/static/564312e0e4b02d0ff72509f3/t/573db0a6c2ea5174f9a696c2/1463660720226/Red+Meat+in+Nutrition+and+Health.pdf
- Hall, N., Schönfeldt, H.C. & Pretorius, B. 2015. “Changes in the composition of South African Red Meat”, in South African Journal of Animal Science 45(3). Available at http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/SAJAS.V45I3.10
- A number of booklets are available from SAMIC: (i) Info for new meat traders (2nd one in Afrikaans) (ii) Duties and Functions of Abattoir managers regarding the welfare of animals. (iii) Duties and Functions of Abattoir managers regarding the welfare of pigs. (iv) A guideline for the use of prodders and stunning devices in abattoirs. The above booklets are also available from the NSPCA. Tel: 011 907 3590/1/2
- Download the latest edition of Rooivleis/Red Meat at www.rpo.co.za.
- Current legislation allows for cultural, traditional or religious slaughter. The role of the SPCA is to ensure the humane treatment of the animals and that the process is checked from the loading of the animals through to their arrival at the venue and the actual slaughter. Relevant websites are www.nspca.co.za, www.nhc.org.za and www.chabad.org. For a list of Halaal abattoirs visit www.halaal.org.za and www.sanha.org.za.
- Lymbery, P & Oakeshott, I. 2014. Farmaggedon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat. London: Bloomsbury. Find the Dagbreek: Landbousake interview with Lymberry here along with RPO rejoinders.
- www.beeftalk.co.za for recipes, articles and information on the Cleaver Awards for butcheries.
- Read about the Meat Free Monday campaign at www.meatfreemondays.com. See what you think of the rebuttal at http://www.beeftalk.co.za/articles/beef-facts-meatless-monday-myths-2/.
- The DAFF-NAMC TradeProbe May 2018 includes the feature “Impact of listeriosis on the trade of processed meat”. Find the document at http://www.namc.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/DAFF-NAMC-TRADEPROBE-ISSUE-NO-73-MAY-2018.pdf
- Reporter. 2017, Nov 10. “Meat without animals to hit shelves in 2021”. Bizcommunity. Available at www.bizcommunity.com/Article/1/358/169972.html
- Shange N & Masweneng K. 2017, July 26. “Meet the meat trekkers”. Bizcommunity. Available at www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/182/165252.html