Namibia tightens screws on sheep exports
Windhoek – The Namibian cabinet has approved the placement of restrictive measures to discourage the export of live slaughter-ready sheep and unprocessed hides and skins in an effort to benefit local abattoirs and tanneries. At its last sitting, cabinet resolved to grant approval for the imposition of a flexible ad valorem levy of between 15 percent and 30 percent of the transaction value of sheep, replacing the existing quantities restriction of 6:1 local slaughter/export ratio. The existing scheme entails that a livestock farmer or trader is only allowed to export one live animal for every six animals he has sold to or slaughtered at local abattoirs. The scheme was however found not to have yielded the desired impact, hence cabinet’s directive of the new scheme. Cabinet also approved that an ad valorem levy (levy placed on items in accordance with their value) should be initially set at 15 percent, and that, depending on the trend of exports of live animals and the impact thereof, the rate either be lowered , maintained or adjusted upward. It authorised that the levies collected be pooled in an special fund under the custody of the local Meat Board, and that the fund resources be sorely used for the development and promotion of the sheep industry. Cabinet tasked various line ministries to head the process by investigating possible incentives for value addition in the meat industry as well as to address the price differences and submit viable incentive options to cabinet. The government has similarly called on farmers and producers to desist from illegal activities related to the smuggling of livestock and meat products to avoid over-regulation of the industry. “The smuggling activities undermine the economy of the country, including the integrity of the animal health status such as the recent Rift Valley Fever outbreak that has negatively affected the country,” the media release from cabinet reads.