WILDLIFE Ranching Namibia, as well as the Wildlife Products steering committee, has announced that Namibia has officially received approval for the export of Small Wild Game Meat to European.
Speaking at the launch, Mike Bredenkamp, President of Wildlife Ranching Namibia, noted that it was a significant step for Namibia in realising Vision 2030, which foresees the sustainable use of the country’s wildlife for economic benefit.
He added that from 2003 to 2008, the value of game meat exported from Namibia tripled from N$11 million to N$31 million.
Three containers with game meat originating from an abattoir in Namibia were, however, returned from Europe in 2003 due to contamination with Shiga toxin E.coli (STEC) Bacteria.
This resulted in a self-imposed closure of game meat exports by the Directorate of Veterinary Services, until such a time that the industry could put procedures in place to control the STEC contamination. This has subsequently been achieved.
Bredenkamp further stated that internationally there is a revived interest in healthy eating, as consumers prefer meat with less fat, more protein and no added hormones.
He added that this resulted in game meat being viewed in a different light.
He further noted that in Namibia, cattle numbers are currently decreasing and wildlife numbers increasing due to a few factors.
“It is widely viewed among experts that with the warmer climate, more sporadic rainfall and increased bush encroachment, wildlife farming may become more economical, with the value and demand for the products likely to increase,” Bredendkamp stated.
He further explained that priority markets were identified as the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France and the United Kingdom. In the EU, the demand is more than 10 000 tonnes per annum.
Bredenkamp, however, stated that Namibia has limiting factor when it comes to satisfying this huge market as there is a shortage of game abattoirs.
In Namibia, the Farmers Meat Market abattoir that has applied for game meat export status is currently the only in operation. He added that he hopes this situation will change soon.