The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Department of Agriculture: Western Cape, the Ostrich Business Chamber and representatives of ostrich farmers met recently, under the chairmanship of the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Dr Pieter Mulder, to discuss a way forward regarding the challenges facing the ostrich industry.
The industry and respective departments discussed a number of actions in detail and specific short-term actions were agreed upon. The departments recognise the importance of the registration of farms and its implications on the long-term sustainability of the industry. With this in mind, the departments realise that this process has to be carried out meticulously and will, therefore, take longer than anticipated.
Research into the epidemiology of avian influenza and related scientific questions must be tackled with all parties agreeing on the research agenda. The departments and industry therefore agreed that scientific methods will be used and considered to facilitate a sustainable trade for ostrich products.