Animal Health

NWGA members were given the opportunity to pose questions on biosecurity and animal health matters. A question was received from a member in the Eastern Cape:

"In human medicine the use of generics is common place and can sometimes be 50% cheaper than the original.  However, in animal medicine, one only sees generics at approximately 10% less.  I have challenged local representatives from our large chemical companies and they either don't know what to say or say "the generics are inferior".  A generic is supposed to be an exact copy of the original.   The company who developed the "dose" spent enormous amounts of money on research and development. They patent it and when the patent expires, then other companies may copy it.   My question:  Why are generics in animal medicine not vastly cheaper?  Who is holding this back? 

Reply received from Dr. Gerhard Verdoorn, consultant for SA Animal Health Association:

"The government imposed certain sanctions on human medicines to make it more affordable and accessible to South Africans; this means a single exit price is stipulated by the Dept of Health and hence generics are much cheaper than research based medicines. In the case of animal health medicine no single exit price strategy was imposed by the state and thus generic companies are not under any obligation to sell their products at much lower prices than research based products. What the public must also understand is that generic animal health medicines need to undergo very rigorous development and testing before it is registered in South Africa. This means that such products are not necessarily cheaper to develop than research based medicines. The costs for developing and testing such products are really very high and thus one cannot expect such products to be much cheaper than research based products."


The National Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has been requested to urgently investigate the manufacture, supply and distribution of vaccines by Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP).  The National Animal Health Forum (NAHF) who represents a number of industries in the agriculture / animal health / production sector and who is in direct liaison with the Dept. of Animal Health under DAFF, directed an urgent letter to Mr. Senzeni Zokwana on the current situation of availability of vaccines at OBP.  Vaccine unavailability is preventing DAFF from effectively implementing control of controlled animal diseases in SA.  They suggested that if OBP is unable to deliver vaccines to the broader livestock industry, the sourcing of vaccines from outside the borders of the Republic of South Africa should be investigated.  A request for a meeting with the Ministers’ office, the NAHF and OBP with a simultaneous site inspection at OBP has been directed to the Minister for consideration.  Read here.



Widespread complaints are still surfacing claiming that high-demand livestock vaccines from OBP are unavailable.  This is despite OBP reiterating that the production of these vaccines was in full swing.  Read here.  


Notice by Bayer Health informing clients on the availability of Blue Tongue and B-Phemeral (Three Day Stiffness) vaccines.  Any uncertainties can be directed to Ben Erasmus, Product Manager on 082 800 9064. Read here.


Notice by Bayer Health informing clients that Blue Tongue vaccines A, B & C are available with advice on how to order them. Read here.


Update by OBP on the availability of Bluetongue, Horsesickness, Brucella S19 and Rift Valley Fever vaccinnes.  Read here.


Harry Prinsloo, Guillau du Toit en Louis du Pisani het die voorreg gehad om op 15 Desember 2014 met die Landbou Minister en sy Adjunk in Kaapstad gesprek te voer.  Harry Prinsloo het die OBP kwessie, die NWKV se bekommernis oor die beskikbaarheid van entstowwe en die opvolger van CEO in ‘n voorlegging ingelei.

NWKV se gevolgtrekking:
• Waar daar in die verlede altyd beperkte tyd beskikbaar was, het die ontmoeting met die Minister geen tydsbeperking gehad nie en was dit werklik asof daar ‘n oor was wat luister. (bykans 2 en half uur onderhoud gehad)
• Daar was 'n gevoel dat daar ‘n dringendheid is om die saak aan te spreek en op te los.
• Die NWKV het direkte toegang tot die minister deurdat hy sy selnr aan ons verskaf het.
• Die NWKV is optimisties om teen die einde Januarie 2015 terugvoering mag hê en dat dit meer positief as die verlede gaan wees.

The long-awaited report by the World Organisation for Animal Health on the state of South Africa's government veterinary services was released recently.  The findings and recommendations of the OIE's PVS report were extensive.  Read report by Lloyd Phillips, Farmers Weekly.

Mr. Leon de Beer indicated that the NWGA was "positioned to assist DAFF" with achieving the reports recommendations for improving chain of command within SA's veterinary services and strengthening the support to include non-commercial livestock farmers.  "Future involvement of (the livestock) industry in the development of any strategies and initiatives is essential to ensure all challenges are approached collectively with government as a whole."

September 2015 Disease reporting

The September and previous reports are available on

Warning from Dr. Faffa Malan: It is still dry in many parts of the country and nutritional value of grazing is poor.  Protein and energy deficiencies are widely reported and numerous animals are so called "downers", unable to rise.  As the condition score of animals deteriorate, so does their immune status.  Parasites and disease will take their toll if supplementary feed is not available.  Be on the lookout for green toxic plants such as gifblaar, gousiekte, tulip, slangkop and ink berry.  If animals eat these plants heavy losses may occur.


Advice from Dr. Faffa Malan

Winter is setting in and in many areas the nutritional value of grazing is poor. Animals are losing condition and immune levels drop. Supplementary nutrition should be given in time to prevent animals from losing too much condition as this will lead to disease, lower conception rates, resorbtions and abortions.  On many farms animals are grazed in vleis and farmers should be aware of liver and conical fluke infestations.

The venereal transmitted disease trichomonosis is causing serious reproduction losses and the zoonotic disease, bovine brucellosis, needs all our attention in controlling this terrible disease!  Contact your veterinarian to help you update your vaccination and management programs for production animals.

Junie 2015

Siekteverslag vir Junie 2015.  Verwys na provinsiale kaarte waar die voorkoms van siektes aangedui word.  Vir vorige rapporte besoek en klik op "Disease reports". 

Hiermee die dieregesondheidsafdeling van die RPO/Nerpo se Kode van Beste Praktyke - volledige Kode besoek 

Die toekoms van boere in SA is so belangrik – voedselsekuriteit en uitvoere van produkte.  Daar moet meer produseer en minder verliese gelei word, dws vrugbaarheid en gesonde diere.  Hierdie is RuVASA se aandeel om daarmee te help.  Kyk weereens saam met julle veearts om die biosekuriteitsprogram op datum te kry en te werk na sertifisering van die sisteem!  Kry die lokale Dieregesondheidsforum aan die gang saam met veeartse in jou area.  Vir verder inligting skakel dr.Pieter Vervoort, die voorsitter van die Nasionale Gesondheidsforum (082 414 2558) of Dok Faffa Malan (082 90 88 666).