Veterinary Services | Western Cape Government

Veterinary Services


The Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services component offers a variety of services to farmers including:



The National Directorate, Veterinary Services is responsible for controlling and reporting on animal diseases in South Africa to prevent other stock from becoming infected and to prevent human consumption of contaminated meat.

Animal Disease Control:

The Directorate is responsible for controlling animal diseases that are particularly dangerous. To do this, it:

  • Provides information on these diseases and how they should be handled.
  • Controls the flow of animals across the country's borders to prevent the entry of animal diseases from neighbouring countries.
  • Controls the flow of animals into and out of permanently controlled areas.
  • Diagnoses and confirms infections through the State Laboratories.
  • Conducts free tests for certain animal diseases (namely Rabies, Brucellosis and BSE)
  • Requires vets to Reports:

    <a data-cke-saved-href="" href="" target_blank"="">The Directorate maintains a database of diseases and their definitions. It also produces monthly and annual animal disease reports and livestock figures.


    A central registration system is maintained listing the unique identification marks of all stockowners. The permanent marking of farm animals is compulsory in South Africa and you may only use an identification mark that is registered with the National Directorate Veterinary Services.

    To register an identification mark you need to complete the application form and send it to:

    The Registrar Identification
    Department of Agriculture
    Private Bag X 138

    There is a R120.00 fee to register an identification mark that can be paid by postal order when you submit your application form.

    For details on what identification marks can look like and when animals should be marked, see the Department's Animal Identification Information Document.

    Identification marks can be transferred from one stock owner to another by submitting the transfer application form to the above address.

    When stock are sold, a document of identification form must be completed. The buyer needs to keep this form for one year as proof of the sale.


    The National Directorate Veterinary Services is responsible for policies and regulations that aim to maintain proper standards of hygiene in the slaughtering of animals for the purpose of obtaining suitable meat for human and animal consumption. It also creates regulation for the handling, keeping and conveyance of such meat and animal products at and from abattoirs.

    The provincial and local authorities are responsible for implementing these laws and regulations. This is generally done through meat inspectors. The Directorate has compiled meat inspectors' manuals to provide information and practical guidelines to assist inspectors.

    One of the mechanisms available for controlling abattoirs is the hygiene assessment system.

    The Department also maintains a list of abattoirs.


    It is the responsibility of the National Directorate Veterinary Services to control the import and export of live animals and animal products.


    If you want to import any of the following, you need to get an Import Permit from the Department of Agriculture:


    Before exporting live animals or animal products to another country, you need to comply with the sanitary requirements of that country. This may include getting a Health Certificate. Information on these requirements is available from Veterinary Services.

Provided by:
Government Body: (The Government of South Africa)
The content on this page was last updated on 21 September 2017