Leon de Beer, general manager of the National Woolgrowers Association (NWGA), has shared information on the impact of the current FMD outbreak in Limpopo, meeting with the state veterinarian.
De Beer said the NWGA is working closely with Cape Wools SA and other industry partners, including Mohair SA and the National Animal Health Forum (NAHF), to find workable solutions so that wool exports can continue.
Wool destined for Egypt cannot be certified according to current requirements, since the FMD cases in the FMD free zone have been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (the OIE).
The current situation has no influence on wool exports to Europe.
Wool destined for China and India can still be certified for export under the current export certificate. However, the exporter must sign an indemnity form given the possibility that the importing country could reject the wool because of SA’s FMD status. The exporter bears the export costs.
The certification requirements of China and India stipulate that the wool may be certified for export if it is from an area that is free of FMD. Given that South African wool has excellent traceability and that very little wool is produced in Limpopo, wool may be certified, and exports may continue.
The bottom line is that the acceptance of wool from South Africa remains the prerogative of the importer. According to De Beer this is an issue that must be handled by the government and clarified with the country’s trade partners. “This process has already started,” De Beer said.