NWest powers on tech for animal, disease tracing
The North West provincial government will turn to ICT, in an effort to improve animal tracing and control disease outbreak.
Desbo Mohono, MEC for agriculture and rural development, says the province will upgrade its paper-based animal tracing system to a digital livestock identification and traceability system (LITS).
Mohono made the announcement while delivering the provincial agriculture and rural development department’s budget vote speech for the 2022/23 financial year.
The LITS, which is a national IT database system, will be used to trace animals and animal products from farm to plate, according to Mohono.
Furthermore, it traces not only the origin of animals, but also chemicals that animals have been subjected to, she notes.
“With this technology, one can prevent or know ahead of time the disease status of animals that are allowed to come into the province. The system can also significantly reduce response time during animal disease outbreak by helping to contain the introduction and spread of contagious diseases,” she explains.
“Introduction of LITS technologies within the agricultural supply chain promises not only increased efficiencies through enhanced data management and more robust traceability, but also enhanced food safety protocols.”
The MEC further highlights that the use of LITS will open up the markets for farmers that were previously closed due to lack of tracing, and identify the origin of animals and animal products by the farm where elementary activities can be accounted for.
The system will also help to monitor the use of banned substances and antibiotics.
Mohono states: “For all of these reasons, introduction of this system will benefit all animal and food producers and processors. The process has started wherein operators are being registered in the national database.
“This will be followed by registering farms and facilities before individual animals are registered. The system is expected to provide information on animals and animal products and a reliable monitoring mechanism that will strengthen government’s regulatory function in the livestock sub-sector.”
The MEC also notes her department will embark on a process of digitising administration of its veterinary laboratory services, which will be done through the introduction of laboratory information management systems.