The 1995 Livestock Development Policy highlights the necessity for a suitable Livestock Identification System that would strengthen livestock disease control and enhance livestock anti-theft measures in the country. In 2001, the Livestock Identification Act (13) was enacted to guide, support and enforces compliance with this policy objective.

The implementation of the identification programme under the Livestock Identification Act, 2001 has been divided into two stages. Implementation of the first stage that involves branding of cattle with the country identification mark (shield) and herd mark (diptank of origin number) started in 2006 and is ongoing. The second stage, referred to as SLITS (Swaziland Livestock Information and Traceability System) is the computerization of the identification system and is implemented in a form of a 3 year project funded by the Government of Swaziland and supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The ultimate aim of the project is to develop a computerized livestock Identification and Traceability System that will effectively control and monitor animal diseases, inhibit local and cross-border stock theft as well as track livestock movements. 


The Swaziland Livestock Information and Traceability System (SLITS)

SLITS is a system of Livestock identification and traceability integrated within an Animal health Information System. The centre focus of the system is to make sure that each individual animal in Swaziland is traceable for life (lifetime traceability).

The system has two main parts. The first part involves animal identification and in this part, the priority species is cattle. The second part involves computerization of veterinary activities. This involves hardware installation and networking of veterinary offices and development of a registration, movement, animal health and brands database.  


Animal Identification

 An animal will be identified using two types of identifiers. The first identifier will be brand marks. This will identify the animal to the country and a group. The second identifier will be eartags. From its design, this is meant for individual animal identification. Each individual animal will be double tagged.

Computerization of Veterinary Services
A computer system will be developed to track all movements and health information of cattle from birth to death. The system is designed to follow the paper trail of the currently used permit system with some improvements. The system will have three parts. The first part is registration of diptanks, kraal owners, and individual animals as well as animal movements. The second part is the animal health information system (diseases, treatments, vaccination, meat hygiene etc) and the third part is the brands register.


Expected benefits of SLITS

  • Improve access to markets of livestock and livestock products.
  • Assist in the recovery and identification of stolen and strayed animals
  • Assist in the reduction of stock theft and cross border cattle rustling
  • Assist in disputes over animal ownership among farmers
  • Assist in rapid containment of animal diseases in the case of outbreaks
  • Assist in production management
  • Improve efficiency of Government controlled movement permits 


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