Role of state vet article

The role of State Veterinarians in the wildlife and game trade

Headshot - Dr DakwaAuthor: Dr Dakwa has been a state veterinarian for 22 years. He is a husband to a beautiful wife and father to two amazing daughters.

Ed. — In this short article, Dr. Dakwa, state veterinarian for the Wolmaransstad region, summarises the roles that State Veterinarians play in the trade of game—inclusive of game animals, game meat and trophies.


The major purpose of the state vet’s involvement is to create and promote an environment where game can be traded both nationally and internationally, in a manner that is safe for public and complies with international trade guidelines.

Animal disease surveillance and control

Role of state vet article
Seen here, Dr Dakwa (State veterinarian for the Wolmaransstad region) during the inspection and checking of the transport carrier’s seals before the release of a new Buffalo cow and calf, that arrived at Hillcrest Game Estates in November 2017.

State veterinarians are at the centre of active and passive animal disease surveillance in South Africa. This applies both to domestic animals as well as wildlife and game animals. Where disease occurs, state vets lead in the control of such diseases, which is done in accordance with statutory regulations under Act 35 of 1984.

Disease reporting

This reporting is done nationally from State Veterinary Area to Provincial to National Level and Internationally as dictated by international animal health reporting systems. This reporting plays a pivotal role in the acceptability of South Africa’s animals, including game on the international market

Public health

Where meat is slaughtered and introduced into the food chain, state veterinarians are also involved in meat inspection. State vets oversee performance of meat inspections, slaughter facility registrations and facility inspections under Act 40 of 2000.

National and International trade certification

Certification of exports of animals, including game is also one of the primary functions of the State veterinarians. This enables South African game animals to be sold to almost all countries around the world.


Editor: On behalf of John Firth and his team at Hillcrest Game Estates, a very big thanks is extended to Dr Dakwa for this article contribution as well as for his ongoing professional guidance and assistance with all vet-related matters at the Hillcrest game ranch.

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