Farm inspections a must to export meat to EU

Ellanie Smit
Livestock producers interested in supplying meat or meat products to the European Union (EU) market must have their farms inspected by the Directorate of Veterinary Services to qualify.

Namibian meat and meat products are exported to several countries, of which one export destination is the EU.

The Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) underlined that in order to be able to export, importing requirements for these destinations, such as the EU, need to be adhered to.

"During 2022, a new EU law came into effect requiring farms to qualify for EU export with regular veterinary inspections."


The union explained that the mandate of the directorate is to facilitate market access for Namibian meat and meat products to international markets.

"Therefore, farmers and EU-approved export abattoirs must cooperate with the directorate to identify farms supplying animals for EU markets so that these can be inspected regularly."

It said since last year, the directorate has inspected a number of commercial farms and all communal areas that form part of the EU-catchment range, according to a list provided by EU-approved abattoirs.

"It is therefore essential that interested producers approach their respective state veterinary offices for an appointment so that their farms can be inspected, if this has not yet happened."


Livestock producers who do not supply animals to the EU market do not need to obtain a certification, rendering veterinary farm inspections unnecessary.

"This does not mean that the producer is exempt from the requirements of the law in terms of record-keeping. It is important to note that normal farm inspections by animal health technicians may take place from time to time. Especially considering the foot-and-mouth situation in South Africa, southern farms will receive more frequent inspections."

The NAU said record-keeping is required by law for any livestock producer, whether they supply animals to the EU market or not.


Producers should note that animal health declarations are not the only documents that need to be submitted every six months. Other forms and registers must be kept up to date, and copies must be submitted to the local state veterinarian offices.

The union stressed that all livestock farmers must, according to the regulations of the Animal Health Act 2011, keep certain forms and registers up to date, regardless of whether they produce animals for EU-approved abattoirs or not.

The union added that the protocol for small-stock farmers exporting animals on the hoof to South Africa remains unchanged.

Members of the NAU can visit to download all the required documents along with the relevant guidelines and regulations.