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There is a strong partnership between the VS and the private sector, particularly the export sector (Meat Board of Namibia and the Namibia Agriculture Union). These organizations have strongly supported the work of the VS in terms of supporting the need for resources required for the safety guarantees for the export of meat to high demanding markets, such as the European Union and South Africa. However, these organizations have not greatly contributed to solving the much dissimilar governance system between the north and the south of the country. The initiatives promoted by the MBN and the NAU are primarily those aimed at facilitating and improving the export conditions from the FMD free zone, and to a lesser degree, at improving the overall governance of the VS throughout the country.

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, and not necessarily importing country import regulations, the MBN has persuaded the VS to conduct expensive 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 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 for the very few. An accreditation program, accompanied by appropriate training of private veterinarians should be considered by the VS.

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.

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

108

Namibia PVS report version II 23012009

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