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Mission Statement
"To Represent The International Ostrich Industry Through Communication, Dissemination of Information and Provision of Industry Standards"
 
 

Contact Details :

Craig Culley, Secretary
World Ostrich Association
33 Eden Grange
Little Corby
Carlisle, UK CA4 8QW
Tel +44 1228 562 923
Fax +44 1228 562 187
Email:


 


Newsletter No. 19 - October, 2004

1. Avian Influenza Update
2. South African Press Reports
3. Advice of the WOA
4. Dependency on Export markets
5. Current World Ostrich Production
6. Interpreting the Production Figures
7. Administration
8. Contributions


1. Avian Influenza Update
Reports from South Africa confirm further culls have taken place on several farms now outside the original quarantine area since our last report to you, making a total of some 24,000 Ostriches in total having been culled. The last of the culling finished only last week.    

The Veterinary Laboratories Agency (LVA) Weybridge, England have confirmed receipt of a single sample from South Africa for analysis.   They confirmed that pathogenicity tests are not straight forward on ostriches as all pathogenicity tests todate have been carried out on chickens.   Further tests are required as no IVIP tests have been carried out to date on Ostriches.  IVIP stands for Intravenous Pathogenicity index test. They also confirmed that the search for the source of the outbreak is ongoing.

2. Press Reports and The role of the South African Ostrich Business Chamber (SAOBC)
There continue to be numerous press reports coming from South Africa that are conflicting and some information is totally inaccurate, so we continue to urge extreme caution and do not believe everything you read.  When facts are known to be reported incorrectly or there are inconsistencies in reports, then there will always be doubts on the accuracy of any printed reports unless the source is known for their integrity.

The one message that is consistent is the lack of responsible communication from the leaders in the industry in South Africa. The SAOBC was set up to act for the South African industry and be the voice for both the Producers and the Processors.  Silence and/or poor communication has resulted in inconsistent reporting, speculation and rumour, which can very often have more serious economic affects than reporting the true facts in a structured manner.  This is particularly true with an industry that is in the fragile situation it currently is.

The most important thing is that answers are consistent and when answers come from honesty, they will remain consistent.  Inconsistencies come when trying to manipulate situations, attempting to deceive and/or a lack of knowledge of the subject under discussion.

3. Advice of the WOA
The Directors advice to buyers of meat, eggs or live chicks and birds is to be extremely careful and ensure that all declarations are correctly completed when importing.  Also, if you have imported eggs or chicks from South Africa recently, that you test the birds.

We also ask that no members publish, either on your web sites or in local publications, any specific reports that they find on the Internet because these reports are conflicting and therefore their accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

4. Dependency on Exports
Another message that is coming through very clearly from the South African reports is the effect of being totally dependent on the export market for the meat.  All types of meat carry the same risks, when there is an outbreak of disease in a particular country, the International borders will be shut down until the country is clear once more.  This applies to all poultry, cattle, sheep and pigs when there are outbreaks of Avian Influenza, BSE, Foot and Mouth or Swine Fever.  The mainstream specie already have developed markets in most countries, Ostrich is new to every country so it is not so easy to slip the meat into the local markets when such bans occur.

Whilst it has been possible to purchase Ostrich meat in South Africa, the market has not been developed because export prices were higher and there was very little meat available to go onto the local market.  Reports are coming through now that there is tremendous coverage in the press, on television and the radio on the benefits of Ostrich meat and the awareness campaign to increase the domestic sales.  

The lesson from this is to develop your domestic market before exporting.  In order to develop any market, it is essential to have a consistent supply of a consistent product and this is especially true when opening up new markets.  

5. Current World Ostrich Production
There have been a number of reports suggesting a significant drop in South African production in the last couple of seasons - that led several of us last week to see if we could get a feel for current world production.  As the table demonstrates, there is a need for all to have a much clearer understanding of just what the true slaughter figures are as an important factor when planning one's business strategy.    The 2004 figures are all estimates as the year is not yet complete.   Please take a look at those figures and let me have adjusted figures for any you feel are not correct in your country or region.


Country [Note 1)

1993 [Note 2]

1999 [Note 3]

2002 [Note 4]

2004 [Note 5]

Slaughtered

%

Slaughtered

%

Slaughtered

%

Estimated

%

South Africa

152,000

84%

233,000

51%

340,000

60%

150,000

49%

Asia

Nil

?

25,000

4%

25,000

8%

North America

Nil

50,000

11%

10,000

2%

15,000

5%

Europe

Nil

40,000

9%

72,000

13%

20,000

7%

Southern Africa

Nil

62,000

14%

46,000

8%

30,000

10%

Israel

8,000

4%

25,000

5%

10,000

2%

25,000

8%

Australasia

Nil

25,000

5%

33,000

6%

10,000

3%

Bophuthatswana

15,000

8%

Nil

Nil

Nil

South America

Nil

Nil

14,000

3%

20,000

7%

Other

5,000

3%

20,000

4%

10,000

2%

10,000

3%

TOTAL

180,000

100%

455,000

100%

560,000

100%

305,000

100%

Table 1 - World Ostrich Slaughter Production

Note 1:
South Africa: South Africa only
Asia:  All Asian countries, including China, Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia
North America:  Canada, USA, Mexico and all countries North of the Panama Canal.
Europe:  European Union Countries prior to the new countries of this year
Southern Africa:  Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana
Australasia:  Australia and New Zealand
Bophuthatswana:  The independent homeland of South Africa that became part of South Africa once more with the New South Africa
South America:  All countries South of the Panama Canal.
Other:  Any not included in the above, including the Middle East and Eastern block countries.

Note 2: 
Figures as published in "The Report on the Effects of Deregulation of the South African Ostrich Industry" - http://dms.namc.co.za/published/20040416-1212.pdf  Page 27

Note 3:
"The Global Industry, Current Situation" - Fiona Benson.   Presented to the World Congress, Portugal, 1999 - http://www.blue-mountain.net/articles/p61.htm

Note 4:
Figures as published in "The Report on the Effects of Deregulation of the South African Ostrich Industry" - http://dms.namc.co.za/published/20040416-1212.pdf    Page  37

Note 5:
These figures are estimates from current information.   The only way to achieve more accurate information is for members to set up systems in their own countries to be able to report meaningful results.  

6. Interpreting Production Figures
How many of you have heard comments either through articles or attending conferences that there is 'overproduction' of ostrich?    Personally I have heard this many times including  at the 1997 World Ostrich Congress in Hengelo during a presentation by a South African tannery.

Previously I have referenced annual world production of ostrich and compared it to the annual output of saleable beef from a single US cattle feedlot.  More recently I was discussing annual world ostrich production with a pig production company.   We calculated that their annual output of saleable pork is 60% of current annual world production of Ostrich meat.  

How can we possibly have overproduction of Ostrich?  

More important - how is it possible to develop markets when our current production is not only at such very low levels, but also so fragmented throughout the world?

7. Administration
Craig has asked me once again to remind us all to please let him know when you have a change of email address.  When notifying Craig, please give you name, your old email address as well as your new email address.

We do advise against using Hotmail email addresses.  We experience considerable problems with messages to Hotmail addresses not being delivered and we are not able to warn members that their messages have not been delivered.

 

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