The mission statement of the DVLS states that the mandate is to control and eradicate zoonotic diseases, promote food security, socio-economic utilization of animal resources and human health. The said mandate is realised by practising veterinary principles, ethics and developing legal framework. Enforcing animal diseases control programs, animal disease surveillance systems, livestock movement controls and traceability, animal welfare standards quality and safety assurance of all food of animal origin (MOA, 2013). This section incorporates meat hygiene which include import and export certification of food of animal origin as well as meat inspection services.
The VPH also has the function of approving and controlling of slaughter facilities and establishments, designation of reference food hygiene laboratories and testing of food of animal origin. Inspection and control of minimum standards for hygiene in primary slaughter and import or export and certification of edible primary products of animal origin. Government personnel who fall under the VPH section consist of meat inspectors, veterinarians, laboratory technologists and support staff (MOA, 2014).
2.1.2 Condemnations and laboratory tests
The meat inspection services under the VPH section oversees the slaughter and food production standards at Swaziland Meat Industries (SMI) as this is an international requirement for the export of food of animal origin. The Meat Hygiene Laboratory housed at SMI takes all samples for Salmonella to Deltamune laboratory in Pretoria and also takes all samples for bovine tuberculosis to the epidemiology department at Manzini vet.
2.2 The Role of Swaziland Meat Industries
2.2.1 Meat Hygiene
Slaughtered cattle at Swaziland Meat Industries are inspected by the Meat Hygiene unit from the VPH. The meat inspectors conduct an ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection at this abattoir. The main objective of conducting such an inspection is to prevent food-borne diseases and zoonoses as these are hazardous to the public health of consumers. The inspection standards should align to the standards set by the OIE (World Animal Health Organization). Condemnations of beef and beef products is also practised by the meat inspectors where the beef and beef products are proclaimed not worthy of human consumption due to prohibited chemical residues or zoonotic diseases. Table 3 below shows the condemnations that were obtained from meat inspection services at SMI.