Guidelines to importing and exporting animal and genetic material

Refer to Section 16 AND 17 of the Animal Improvement Act, 1998 (Act 62 of 1998) and Regulations 13 and 14.

The facts:

  • Anybody may import animals and genetic material of an approved breed.
  • An applicant does not have to be a member of the relevant breed society – but:
  • Such applicants will not be able to register any animals or progeny.
  • All will be referred to the relevant society if it involves an animal – or if the import is for genetic material from a donor that has not been previously screened and approved by the society.

Copies of all import authorisations are also sent to the relevant breed societies – and this information could be used to recruit new members.

Breeders’ Societies could take this opportunity to provide members with a value-added service – receiving and screening applicants – and then forwarding these to the registrar for further processing.

Applying to import or export an animal or genetic material:

  • Apply on the prescribed form that is available from the office of the Registrar – or at the Breeders’ Society.
  • Take care to fill in all the required information to avoid delays.
  • Ensure that either proof of payment of the prescribed administration fee – or actual payment is included.

Applications to import or export animals or genetic material can either be sent directly to the Registrar – or can be screened and forwarded by the respective Breeders’ Society – or registering authority – as a service to members.
This will save time where the genetic material in question has not been screened.

Note that all imports are subject to positive identification.

This includes full DNA for all bulls and semen.

If the exporting country does not have such a service, this can be done locally before release from quarantine.

Cows and heifers need only be verified by way of a blood sample or hair follicle for later reference (depending on the provider of the DNA Registry service).

The process at the Registrar’s office:

The office will process the application – making sure that all the prescribed information has been included.  Where necessary, applications will be referred to the relevant Breeders’ Society for a recommendation.

Importing animals for other purposes

This includes shows, sales, breeding and veterinary treatment and normally applies more to the equine industry.

  • All animals must be positively identified in accordance with the Animal Identification Act, 2002 (Act 6 of 2002) or in accordance with the bylaws of the relevant Society.
  •  Where applicable, animals must have a country identification mark.
  •  The relevant form must be completed.

Exporting animals and genetic material

At present Act 62/98 only applies to landrace breeds such as the Nguni, Afrikaner and Bonsmara but it could be revised to apply to other breeds should the relevant Societies see a need to such control.

  • Nobody may export any animals or genetic material of a landrace breed without an animal improvement authorisation.
  • No applications are processed without an inspection report from the relevant Breeders’ Society.  This report will certify that the animals are either registered or non-registered and that they comply with the minimum standards for the breed.

This should also be seen as an opportunity for breed societies and clubs to provide a useful service to all owners of animals of the breed in question.
If all the prescribed information has been provided, the Registrar’s office will process the application/s – and forward the authorisation/s to the Directorate: Animal Health for further processing.

A copy of the authorisation will be sent to the relevant Breeders’ Society and the relevant registering authority.

This information is strictly confidential.

Should applicants have any queries regarding what information is needed, the following official can be contacted:

Registrar: Animal Improvement
Mr Joel Mamabolo
Tel.:  012-319 7424

Animal Product Technician: Animal Improvement
Mr Alfred Mabena
Tel.:  012-319 7434

Senior Administration Officer: Animal Improvement
Mr Hulisani Musuba
Tel.:  012-319 7590

Senior Administration Clerk: Animal Improvement
Mr Hazel Madikologa
Tel.:  012-319 7590

Senior Administration Clerk: Animal Improvement
Ms Thabiso Rathaga
Tel.:  012-319 7429

For more information or for the comprehensive programme, contact:

Department of Agriculture
Directorate: Animal and Aquaculture Production
Private Bag X138

Tel.:  012-319 7493
Fax:  012-319 7570 / 7425