South Africa’s drought depletes livestock count

By Aaron McDonald

- Last updated on GMT

South Africa's cattle and pig herds have been cut by 5% as a result of the weather
South Africa's cattle and pig herds have been cut by 5% as a result of the weather

Related tags: Meat, Beef, Livestock, Pork

South Africa’s livestock numbers are feeling the effects of the country’s most severe drought in over a century. 

Lawmakers were told yesterday (Tuesday 1 March) that 5% of the nation’s cattle and pork-breeding herds had been destroyed as a result of the weather. 

Pieter Prinsloo, vice-chairman of the Red Meat Producers Organization, told parliament that the beef head-count stood at 13 million before the drought.

“The livestock industry needs to increase its calf percentage and lambing in order to rebuild the national herd,”​ Prinsloo said. He added that it could take up to four years for farmers to recover without any financial aid from the government.

Meanwhile, the pig producing industry is feeling a similar impact. James Jenkinson, chairman of the Pork Producers Organization, said at the same meeting that the pork-breeding stock had been cut by 6,000 sows.

Jenkinson claimed that as a result of the damage caused by the weather, pork prices could increase by a quarter this year. In addition, around 10% of the industry’s employees could be at risk of losing their jobs

Related topics: Meat

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