Good day Dr M Molefe
No I do not support the draft amendment to the Meat Safety Act
Listing game meat under the Meat Safety Act will contribute to destroying hunting and wildlife areas in RSA. That’s because it forces all game meat to be processed in a certain manner, such as through abattoirs, if it’s to be sold to the public. Not even a butcher will be able to purchase a carcass directly from a hunter or farmer. That prevents hunters and farmers from selling biltong and carcasses to friends and butchers, to off-set the costs of hunting. The legislation adds to the monopoly of the meat industry. Game meat is a threat to those monopolies due to its lack of regulation and resultant lower cost and more streamlined distribution channels. It will be one of the worst pieces of legislation ever promulgated against the wildlife industry. And it will totally destroy the informal market which has existed for game meat for hundreds of years with no negative health consequences. No longer will a farmer or hunter be able to sell carcasses, biltong or meat direct to a butcher or to a private person. No longer will a hunter be able to defray hunting expenses by processing meat for sale in his perfectly hygienic kitchen where food is prepared for eating every day. The only benefits will be to abattoirs and large culling units which will further entrench the concentration of economic interests in the meat industry. The farmer will receive less for his game meat, the hunter will pay more for hunting and the consumer will pay more for venison products. It’s a scandalous piece of legislation and if passed, must go straight to the courts for review. For once, proponents of sustainable use of wildlife products are on the same side as animal rights activists.