There are only a few months left to the end of 2014. It seems however like January was only the other day and that there is still much to do before the end of the year. We have made some great strides in the work that was planned for this year. We most pleased with the progress made when it comes to food safety, in particular the Microbial and Residue monitoring programme. The objectives of setting up both National Microbial and Residue Monitoring programmes are very close to being realised.

With regards to the microbial monitoring programme, Prof Fosgate, an Epidemiologist based at Onderstepoort has successfully designed a sampling protocol for poultry meat that is in the process of being tested at three abattoirs around the country. So far, one abattoir has completed a month of testing and the other two are in progress. Once the testing is completed, the protocol will be revised and retested, taking into account the sizes of the various operations. The idea is to have a minimum standard that will every producer will be required to achieve. The larger operation will be able to build on the minimum standard based on the complexities of their operations. The same protocol will be used to collect samples for residue testing in poultry meat.

Eggs on the other hand have lagged behind meat a bit. We can report however that the egg work has started as well. Prof Fosgate is similarly looking at a sampling protocol for table eggs. In order to ensure that the correct sampling methods are used, the results of the monitoring programme run by DAFF will be used. This will enable us to determine the prevalence of various compounds and therefore be able to set standards that will monitor those compounds. Again here the aim is to have a minimum standard for all producers that the larger producers can build on. It is envisaged that over time, the industry will be able to guarantee the quality of the products sold to our consumers.

News to tell

DAFF hosted a workshop on Good Emergency Management Practice sponsored by the USDA and FAO. The aim of the workshop was to evaluate the state of South Africa to respond to disease outbreaks and emergencies. Following the workshop, DAFF will be looking at establishing the systems that will be required to ensure that there is a coordinated approach to emergency responses. Multidisciplinary teams will be formed and trained. These teams will include both government and private sector resources. Some of you may be called in to assist as experts in your field of work. We encourage you to support DAFF in this initiative because it will be beneficial to the country as a whole.

It is also with the greatest of pride to report back on some of the prestigious honours bestowed on Prof Celia Abolnik our Research Chair in Poultry Health and Production. The Chair delivered a keynote address at the South African Society for Animal Science’s 47th congress on 8 July 2014 entitled “Avian influenza and the South African poultry industry”. The Chair was invited to present the keynote address on Newcastle Disease at the WVPA congress to be hosted in Cape Town in 2015. She was also invited to deliver a keynote address at the Avian Influenza Symposium to be held in Georgia USA in 2015. We should also not forget Dr Adrian Knoetze of Rainbow Farms who received the WVPA Young Poultry Veterinarian Award at the WVPA Asia Meeting in Bangkok. This award is given to a poultry veterinarian under the age of 35 who has ‘not only displayed a commitment to bird health and customer care, but also a real passion for the poultry industry’.

Please note that an African Residue Congress will be held on the 25th and 26th November 2014. For more information please visit the congress site at or contact the secretariat at

As some of you may know, South Africa will be hosting the World Veterinary Poultry Congress in 2015 in Cape Town. For more information, please visit