WINDHOEK: All samples of imported Veekos products to Namibia tested negative for any growth promoters, the South African animal feed’s manufacturer said.
Feedmaster made the announcement in a media statement issued on Friday.
Veekos, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Feedmaster in Windhoek, produces a wide range of animal feed products for both the South African and Namibian markets, and is located in Upington, South Africa (SA).
“Feedmaster is for the past 30 years a reputable Namibian company that has invested locally, and still provides quality products to the Namibian farmer and meat industry, and will also do so in future.
It deplores the unfortunate event, which had no intention to harm the Namibian meat industry, and will do every effort to restore its credibility,” it noted in reaction to the Registrar of Stock Feed in Namibia having informed Agra on 06 August 2012 that the Directorate of Veterinary Services found that Sheep-Afronkorrels and Stoetveekorrels (breeding stock pellets) from Veekos grow stimulants and/or contain therapeutic substances.
The Registrar put a total embargo on the import of all Veekos products from SA until their investigations in that regard had been concluded.
Thus, no Veekos products were allowed to come into Namibia until further notice.
The instructions from the Registrar were necessary to protect the local meat industry.
According to Feedmaster, the South African market demands the inclusion of growth promoters, and all feed products for the SA market are labelled – indicating the presence of such substances.
For the Namibian market, no growth promoters are included, and the bag labels of all Namibian products do not state the presence of any such substances.
The company explained that early in 2012, a new label printer was commissioned at the Veekos factory in order to improve traceability during the manufacturing process, and an error occurred when the wording of the South African bag labels was printed on the Namibian bag labels of two of the products – Veekos Stoetveekorrels and Veekos Skaap Afrondkorrels.
The reasons given for the suspension of products are that the labels on certain feeds did not comply with Namibian veterinary import permit requirements.
Samples were immediately taken of the incorrectly labelled bags, in the presence of the Registrar of Feeds as well as Meat Board officials, and the samples were dispatched to independent and accredited analytical laboratories in SA.
Results from the one laboratory reflected levels of ‘less than one part per million’ – indicating the absence of banned substances.
To put this in perspective, an inclusion level of at least 20 parts per million is regarded as a minimum of the applicable growth promoter to be effective.
According to Feedmaster, another independent laboratory clearly stated that ‘no growth promoters were detected’ in the same samples.
Meanwhile, the Directorate of Veterinary Services here remains firm that the matter is currently under investigation, and that the ban on Veekos products remains.
According to Feedmaster, follow-up discussions with the relevant authorities here are planned for later this week.
Since 2009, both Veekos’s lick and lucerne pellet plants are fully Afri Compliance-certified, confirming adherence to the Act on Animal Feeds (Act 36) for both the Namibian and South African markets.
Both Veekos plants are currently also in the process of implementing the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 22000 food safety standards, and aims to obtain certification during early March 2013.