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The enforcement of the traceability system is weaker north of the Veterinary Cordon Fence, and so is the professional staffing level and laboratory support.

Driven by pressures from importing private standards (e.g. TESCO), and not necessarily importing country regulations, the MBN has persuaded the VS to conduct expensive and unnecessary testing of brains at slaughter for BSE. With the current level of testing, Namibia will not be able to meet the requirements for having its BSE risk status categorized by the OIE. Even if this BSE status were to be recategorized by the OIE, Namibia would still not be able to reduce the requirements for export of meat due to the lack of FMD free recognition by some importing countries.

It is recommended that the VS consider a stronger partnership with private veterinarians as they are a valuable source of information on animal diseases of importance, as well as the potential first point for detection of emerging diseases. In a country where the number of veterinarians is so limited, every effort should be made to maximize the contribution from the few. An accreditation program, accompanied by appropriate training of private veterinarians should be considered by the VS.

Links between the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Health: Emerging infectious diseases and the threat of a potential pandemic form of avian influenza have reminded the international community of the importance of a close collaboration between Ministries of Health and Agriculture. However, there was no apparent evidence of such a link between these two ministries in Namibia. During the PVS evaluation, attempts were made to meet with authorities from these two Ministries. A meeting was held with the Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Health, Mr. Kahijoro Kahure. He expressed interest on the subject and offered to assist in arranging for a meeting with professionals from his Ministry. He agreed on the importance in discussing the difference in existing policies on abattoir inspections between those for domestic consumption and those for export.

Unfortunately, these meetings did never materialize.

meeting with the Agriculture was not

Permanent Secretary or possible, due to their busy

the Minister schedules.

Although requested,

from

the

Ministry

a of

The differences in the existing procedures for meat inspection between export abattoirs and those destined for local markets were of concern. The export abattoirs have a full staff from VS conducting ante and postmortem inspections addressing animal health as well as public health matters, in accordance with high

demands personnel

from the importing markets.

in

the

local

abattoirs.

The

However, there is no inspections at these

presence from establishments

VS are

conducted by health inspectors and are limited to meat hygiene

from either issues only.

the

Municipality

or

Ministry

of

Health

9

Namibia PVS report version II 23012009

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