Veterinary Services
Name: 
Hilda Combrink
Telephone number: 
+ 27 21 808 5001
Fax number: 
+27 21 808 5120
About us

The Programme Veterinary Services is responsible for managing animal risks and the safety of foods from animal origin in accordance with national and international standards and conventions.  The legal mandate for executing these functions is vested in the Animal Disease Act, 1984 and the Meat Safety Act, 2000.  The primary focus is on active and passive disease surveillance, disease control and prevention interventions, export facilitation of animal products and the delivery of a diagnostic laboratory service.

Subprogramme: Animal Health has the responsibility to apply the Animal Diseases Act within the Western Cape Province. Official veterinarians and animal health technicians stationed within 7 State Veterinary areas (Boland, Worcester, Swellendam, Malmesbury, George, Beaufort West, Vredendal) distributed within the Province to execute the functions demanded by this Act.

In addition to the above regulatory responsibilities, officials are intimately involved in servicing the emerging farmer sector. This is achieved by regular visits to holdings to inspect livestock, providing assistance with treatment and vaccination of animals, collection of diagnostic samples and the dissemination of information on preventive and corrective animal health.

Subprogramme: Veterinary Public Health ensures the safety of meat and meat products through the implementation of the meat safety act (act 40 of 2000), the animal diseases act (act 35 of 1984) and other relevant legislation.

The VPH team includes state veterinarians and meat inspectors who monitor and audit the application of hygienic procedures at abattoirs to ensure compliance with the Meat Safety Act.  Hygiene management practices at abattoirs, meat and dairy export establishments; the humane handling of animals presented for slaughter; the setting of standards for new abattoirs and the grading of existing facilities are important functions carried out by these officials.

Approximately 80 local abattoirs are inspected and monitored regularly to ensure that the requirements and hygiene management practices are in accordance with legal requirements and national and international standards. Food Safety awareness campaigns are launched regularly to educate the general public about the dangers of unsafe food.

Subprogramme: Export Control promotes, facilitates, and maintains international market access for products of animal origin from within the province through provision of control measures and guarantees including risk assessment and health certification in order to provide Sanitary and Phytosanitary guarantees required by the importing countries.

There are 117 registered export establishments that the Export Control section manages of which nine of them are European Union (EU) approved.

Subprogramme: Veterinary Laboratory Services is situated at the Provincial Veterinary Laboratory (PVL) in Stellenbosch and renders a diagnostic service to the Programme, the private veterinary sector, other departments, such as National Health and Nature Conservation, and commerce associated with the agricultural industry.  A diagnostic service is also rendered to the dairy, beef, sheep, pork and racehorse industries, as well as the poultry, ostrich and aquaculture sectors.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak in South Africa

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was confirmed in a broiler breeder site in Mpumalanga on 22nd June 2017 and in a layer farm in Standerton on the 26th June 2017. The farms have been placed under quarantine and infected birds are being culled.

No live birds, hatching eggs, table eggs or day old chicks may be moved into the Western Cape Province without a movement permit from the State Veterinarian of the place of origin. 

Although an initial ban on the sale of live cull birds was put in place by DAFF, this ban has been conditionally lifted and the Director Animal Health has authorised the Poultry Disease Management Agency (PDMA) to register and keep records of all parties selling and buying live chickens. With regard to the registration process for the selling of live chickens, please download the relevant procedural manual and forms:

For any further enquiries, relating to the registration process, please contact the PDMA on 012 529 8298 or malesedi@sapoultry.co.za.

Avian Influenza FACT SHEET from DAFF

Avian Influenza FACT Sheet from Western Cape

Avian Influenza on the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE)

Please report any cases of large numbers of birds dying to your nearest state veterinarian so that we can investigate further. You can find the relevant contact details by clicking here.

 

Compulsory Community Service (CCS)

2019 is the fourth year of Compulsory Community Service (CCS) year brought by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).

Legislative changes to the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Act (Act 19 of 1982) in the form of the veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Amendment Act 2012 as well as the regulations that came into effect in November 2015 have allowed the implementation of this state funded programme which aims to provide accessible and affordable veterinary services to resource-poor areas and under-serviced areas within South Africa.

Below are some of the objectives of the programme:

  • To promote accessibility of veterinary services to resource-poor areas particularly regarding the following aspects:
    • To promote safety of food of animal origin
    • To facilitate trade of animals and animal products
    • To promote veterinary diagnostic capabilities
    • To promote animal health through management of controlled and non-controlled diseases
    • To provide primary animal health care, including clinical services and animal welfare, to under-served areas.
  • To provide an opportunity for Compulsory Community Service (CCS) veterinarians to acquire knowledge, critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will aid them in their future professional development.

The programme is funded centrally by DAFF and CCS veterinarians are employees of DAFF. Although employed by DAFF, the CCS veterinarians are deployed throughout the provinces where their services are needed most.

Provincial veterinary services are funding some of the operational day to day costs as well as coordinating their activities of the CCS vets within the province. CCS postings extend to any strategic partner in veterinary services, such as animal welfare organizations, private practitioners as well as other veterinary community outreach service providers across the country.

Veterinarians performing CCS will not compete with the private sector, but rather aim to complement the services delivered by all sectors of the veterinary profession. Newly qualified veterinarians now have the opportunity to work in a field they previously would not have been exposed to, creating awareness and ultimately sending a well-rounded veterinarian back into the community.

Each CCS vet is assigned an adviser and works under their guidance and supervision during the course of the year. The Western Cape representative on the PAHC and CCS implementation Committee is Dr. Aileen Pypers, based at the Elsenburg Head Office.

This year the Western Cape has been allocated 19 CCS veterinarians. Their placements cover a wide range of veterinary fields including animal welfare, public health, export control, laboratory and state veterinary services.

The CCS programme presents ever increasing opportunity for development of the veterinary profession in the coming years as well as equipping newly qualified graduates with knowledge and hands-on experience gained in community service. This will benefit them hugely in their future careers as veterinarians. The CCS team in the Western Cape Province are excited and proud to be involved in this new venture to invest sustainable veterinary services in our communities.

Reports

Western Cape Compulsory Community Service (CCS) 2018 Annual report

Western Cape Compulsory Community Service (CCS) 2017 Annual report

Western Cape Compulsory Community Service (CCS) 2016 Annual report

 

Animal Health and Disease Control

Want to know where your closest State Veterinary office is?

 

State veterinarians (SV) assisted by animal health technicians (AHT) at eight state veterinary offices throughout the province, are responsible for surveillance, control and eradication of animal diseases.

Regular testing, monitoring and surveillance are conducted on livestock, ostriches, poultry and pet animals for diseases such as bovine tuberculosis, bovine Brucellosis, rabies and sheep scab and trade sensitive diseases such as foot and mouth disease and mad cow disease.

These actions play a major role to provide disease-free guarantees for exports of animals and animal products. The province exports more than 90% of the country’s ostrich meat and other products generated by the ostrich industry. An intensive surveillance for Newcastle disease and Avian influenza and a registration system on ostrich export farms is conducted in several of the state veterinary areas.

A serum data bank has been established to provide scientific evidence on the occurrence or absence of animal diseases. The province is free of the major trade-sensitive diseases such as foot and mouth disease and also has the only African horse sickness free zone in the country from where horses are accepted for export world-wide.

The epidemiology section of Western Cape Veterinary Services is tasked with assisting State Veterinarians during outbreak campaign. Epidemiology also encompasses the design of surveillance programs for various animal diseases and assists in determining the status of diseases in the Western Cape Province. The section maintains animal surveillance databases as well as information on animal census. It also publishes a monthly newsletter with pertinent epidemiological information which can be used by private veterinarians as an information source.

State veterinarians are responsible for training and education on both a formal and informal basis. Formal training is provided through the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute to students pursuing a Bachelors degree in Agriculture in the form of subjects on animal health as well as a registered bovine artificial insemination course. Animal Health Technicians (AHTs) also complete the Tuberculosis and Brucellosis component of their studies under the supervision of a state veterinarian and experienced AHT. Informal training is given to veterinary science students during their studies to expose them to the work of a state veterinarian.

The control animal health technician (CAHT) in each state veterinary office monitors and oversees the work of the other AHTs and also mentors AHT students during their final year of training which is an experiential training year.

Name: 
Natalie April
Telephone number: 
021 808 5053
Fax number: 
021 808 5126
120
Export Control

The Deputy Director: Export Control assisted by 6 State Veterinarians and a technical manager are responsible for managing and controlling the exportation of products of animal origin from the Western Cape Province. They facilitate the certification these products in accordance with international norms and standards. More than 50 % of all products of animal origin that are exported from South Africa originate from the Western Cape Province. There are four European Union approved ostrich export abattoirs within the province. A state veterinarian is assigned to each of these abattoirs to implement and maintain the prescribed official veterinary management system at each abattoir. This includes implementation of the National Residue Monitoring Program.

The Export Control programme is responsible for the auditing of all abattoirs, processing plants and dairy establishments that wish to export products. These facilities are audited once a year to ensure compliance with the registration requirements of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as well as import requirements.

Name: 
Siyabulela Victor Twala
Telephone number: 
021 808 7607
Fax number: 
021 808 7662
121
Veterinary Laboratory Services

The Provincial Veterinary Laboratory at Helderfontein, Stellenbosch renders an extensive diagnostic service to the livestock, poultry, ostrich and aquaculture industries and also delivers a supporting service to other provincial and national departments.

 

A wide spectrum of tests is conducted in the diagnostic bacteriology, serology, virology, parasitology, histology, PCR and biochemistry sections of the laboratory. The laboratory also receives samples such as meat, water, animal feed and swabs for hygiene monitoring for veterinary public health and food safety testing. The laboratory has implemented a computerized laboratory information management system (LIMS) that greatly enhances the capturing and availability of data on all functions performed.

 

The Provincial laboratory has obtained ISO 17025 accreditation for a number of test methods including controlled disease testing for Brucellosis, Avian Influenza, Newcastle Disease, African Horse Sickness and Salmonella spp. detection. The food safety section is accredited for a number of methods testing food, feed and meat samples. Accreditation facilitates international recognition and the maintenance of a high standard of service delivery. Please visit the SANAS website for the latest schedule of accredited tested methods.

 

Sample submission

Samples sent to the Provincial Veterinary Laboratory for testing must be accompanied by a submission form, which can be obtained at the laboratory, or downloaded from the forms tab.

 

Please consult this specimen submission guideline for more information on sample requirements and turnaround times for the various tests.

 

Sample packaging

Please ensure that samples transported by road or air are packaged according to OIE regulations. The principle of a three-layer system should be followed. All biological material should be packaged and transported to:

  • Minimise the risk of exposure for those in transportation and should protect the environment and susceptible animal populations from potential exposure.
  • Protect the integrity of the specimens and avoid cross-contaminating other specimens and the environment.

 

A three-layer system comprises of the following elements:

  • First layer: a leak-proof receptacle (avoid glass containers). The primary receptacle must be packaged within enough absorbent material to absorb all fluid in case of breakage and sealed in a clear plastic bag.
  • Second layer: The secondary packaging must be durable, watertight, and leak-proof to enclose and protect the primary receptacle e.g. plastic container or water-tight plastic bag.
  • Third layer: a rigid outer packaging of adequate strength for its capacity, mass and intended use e.g. plastic or cardboard box. The delivery address, name and telephone number of the laboratory and senders details should be indicated. The Proper shipping name and UN Number should be indicated on the third layer and on the overpack (e.g. cooler box). Routine diagnostic specimens will be packaged as “Biological substance, Category B, UN3373”. Refer to the OIE website for more information.

 

 Latest specimen submission guideline

122
Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety

Food safety inspections focus especially on abattoirs, processing plants and dairy establishments.

 

 

Name: 
Petuania Danti
Telephone number: 
021 808 5273
Fax number: 
021 808 5274
123
Training and education

State veterinarians are responsible for training and education on both a formal and informal basis. Formal training is provided through the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute to students pursuing a Bachelors degree in Agriculture in the form of subjects on animal health as well as a registered bovine artificial insemination course. Animal Health Technicians (AHTs) also complete the Tuberculosis and Brucellosis component of their studies under the supervision of a state veterinarian and experienced AHT. Informal training is given to veterinary science students during their studies to expose them to the work of a state veterinarian.

The control animal health technician (CAHT) in each state veterinary office monitors and oversees the work of the other AHTs and also mentors AHT students during their final year of training which is an experiential training year.

124
Performing Animals Protection Act Licensing

Amendment of the Performing Animals Protection Act (PAPA) (Act 24 of 1935, amended by Act 4 of 2016)

Animals have played a longstanding role in the social, cultural, and agricultural history of South Africa. They are an important part of our heritage; enriching our environment, our economy and our lives. In addition to contributing to food security, animals often provide companionship, therapy and entertainment to people.

With growing awareness of the sentience of animals, it is becoming globally accepted that animals should enjoy positive states of welfare. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) defines animal welfare as, “how an animal is coping with the conditions in which it lives. An animal is in a good state of welfare if it is healthy, comfortable, well-nourished, safe, able to express natural behaviour, and if it is not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress.” Championed by the OIE and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), animal welfare has gained visibility and political importance in the international community.

South Africa has progressive animal protection legislation that protects all animals against abuse. However, the legislation is criticized as being fragmented and outdated in that it emphasizes prevention of cruelty rather than informing duties of animal care. It does, however, infer a responsibility to develop and implement animal welfare principles which keep abreast of growing international obligations and ensure humane treatment and care of all animals.

A major amendment of the Performing Animals Protection Act (Act 24 of 1935) was implemented with the enactment of Act 4 of 2016, published on 19 January 2017, and the associated Regulations, published on 3 August 2017, whereby licensing of performing animals became the responsibility of the national Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) instead of the Department of Justice. DAFF confirmed that the government is committed to the wellbeing of industries that make use of performing animals, as well as the animals that are used in these industries. A notice was published to inform all role-players of Governments’ intention to monitor the welfare of performing animals, making use of mechanisms that are already implemented by, within or for these industries. Animal welfare monitoring can, therefore, be included as part of PAPA licensing conditions. This responsibility was subsequently delegated to state veterinarians (SV) of the WCDOA, who now issue PAPA licenses at the provincial level.

A veterinary procedural notice (VPN), which forms the basis for a license application inspection, was developed to assist the SV in this task. A self-evaluation checklist that can be used by the PAPA applicant was compiled from the VPN. Apart from animal health checks, many aspects covered in the VPN are required to be approved or endorsed by a facility veterinarian, such as a health and welfare plan for all the species/animals, the site where the animals are kept or work, indicating area(s) allocated to each species, including shelter, feed and water points, examination area, storage and disposal of waste and mortalities, animal training (equipment and methods), as well as associated records and registers. Biannual (twice a year) veterinary visits, animal movement notification and monitoring of animals used in the filming industry are also regulated to ensure the welfare of performing animals.

Considerable industry awareness efforts and workshops to ensure feasible implementation were undertaken in the province between Aug and Nov 2017, before all PAPA licenses issued in terms of the previous dispensation, expired in Dec 2017 and awareness initiative to secondary industry role-players continues.

Many citizens who work with animals in the province applied for PAPA licenses, but reports of the unlicensed use of animals are, however, encountered. To ensure compliance and the effective implementation of this amended Act to the benefit and welfare of performing animals, an admission of guilt fine system, covering a range of offences in terms of the PAPA, was magisterially approved across the entire provincially and is being instituted to support law enforcement. It is an offence in terms of the PAPA [Act 24/35, read with Amendment Act 4 of 2016, Sec 8 (a) and (f)] to use an animal without a PAPA license. It is, however, not only the person in who’s control (custody) the animal is working (this should be the PAPA license holder), but also any person who causes an animal to be used without a PAPA license, in other words, the person that enlisted the services of such an animal, that can be fined or charged in terms of PAPA, which can result in a criminal record.

The WCDOA remains committed to the people of this province and endeavours to support and enable its citizens to work and thrive within the legislative framework of our country. It remains the responsibility of the PAPA license holder to ensure that he/she submits the correct PAPA application form, correctly completed, with prescribed documents, at least 2 months before a valid PAPA license expires, to papa@daff.gov.za and Cc DawidV@elsenburg.com.

Important Links

The South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) is the regulatory body for the veterinary and para-veterinary professions in South Africa and has a statutory duty to determine scientific and ethical standards of professional conduct and education.

The Southern African Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (S.A.S.V.E.P.M.) was formed at the end of 2000, with the objective of promoting veterinary epidemiology and preventive medicine in the Southern African region.

The South African Veterinary Association (SAVA) is a professional association of veterinarians in South Africa. It promotes the interests and activities of the veterinary profession and assists veterinarians to fulfil their role in the community.

The South African Association for Laboratory Animal Science (SAALAS) is a non-profit organisation serving South African Scientists involved in the breeding, husbandry and welfare of laboratory animals, and also those individuals at secondary schools, tertiary educational institutions and state and privately owned research institutions using laboratory animals for teaching, research, the production of products and the testing thereof.

About us
The Programme Veterinary Services is responsible for managing animal risks and the safety of foods from animal origin in accordance with national and international standards and conventions.  The legal mandate for executing these functions is vested in the Animal Disease Act, 1984 and the Meat Safety Act, 2000.  The pr...
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak in South Africa
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was confirmed in a broiler breeder site in Mpumalanga on 22nd June 2017 and in a layer farm in Standerton on the 26th June 2017. The farms have been placed under quarantine and infected birds are being culled. No live birds, hatching eggs, table eggs or day old chicks may be mov...
Compulsory Community Service (CCS)
2019 is the fourth year of Compulsory Community Service (CCS) year brought by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). Legislative changes to the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Act (Act 19 of 1982) in the form of the veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Amendment Act 2012 as well as the regul...
Animal Health and Disease Control
Want to know where your closest State Veterinary office is?   State veterinarians (SV) assisted by animal health technicians (AHT) at eight state veterinary offices throughout the province, are responsible for surveillance, control and eradication of animal diseases. Regular testing, monitoring and surveillance are c...
Export Control
The Deputy Director: Export Control assisted by 6 State Veterinarians and a technical manager are responsible for managing and controlling the exportation of products of animal origin from the Western Cape Province. They facilitate the certification these products in accordance with international norms and standards. M...
Veterinary Laboratory Services
The Provincial Veterinary Laboratory at Helderfontein, Stellenbosch renders an extensive diagnostic service to the livestock, poultry, ostrich and aquaculture industries and also delivers a supporting service to other provincial and national departments.   A wide spectrum of tests is conducted in the diagnostic bacteri...
Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety
Food safety inspections focus especially on abattoirs, processing plants and dairy establishments.    
Training and education
State veterinarians are responsible for training and education on both a formal and informal basis. Formal training is provided through the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute to students pursuing a Bachelors degree in Agriculture in the form of subjects on animal health as well as a registered bovine artificial...
Performing Animals Protection Act Licensing
Amendment of the Performing Animals Protection Act (PAPA) (Act 24 of 1935, amended by Act 4 of 2016) Animals have played a longstanding role in the social, cultural, and agricultural history of South Africa. They are an important part of our heritage; enriching our environment, our economy and our lives. In addition to...
Important Links
The South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) is the regulatory body for the veterinary and para-veterinary professions in South Africa and has a statutory duty to determine scientific and ethical standards of professional conduct and education. The Southern African Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medi...