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"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher

Dear Fellow SASAS members

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a major disruption to the entire globe and our Society is not spared from this disaster. Consequently, our sector is paralysed as there is minimal economic activity both locally and internationally. This has implications for food security. The safety and well-being of our loved ones is also at stake. As Council, we take this opportunity to wish our members good health as the virus continues to create uncertainty.

From a professional point of view, our task as practitioners is to re-imagine how livestock agriculture will continue to play its meaningful role post-COVID-19. The new normal is unfolding before our eyes. Strong leadership, in our different spheres of influence, is critical to ensure that humanity can go through this challenging time.

Despite this difficult environment, the Council met on 18 March 2020 and took important resolutions. A summary of the resolutions is provided as follows:
1. This year’s SASAS Congress has been cancelled and approval was granted for the full congress in 2021 to be hosted by the Northern Branch.
2. The electronic elections / voting for Council members whose term expires this year will proceed and is scheduled for July 2020. The voting process will be conducted through our website. Members are reminded to renew their annual membership.
3. Due to the ever increasing cost of publishing our journal, the publication fees which have not been increased in the past few years, have been updated as follows:
o National: R1 500 to R3 000
o International: 250 USD to 500 USD
4. Financial statements for the 2019 have been approved and are accessible through our website on the member’s portal.
5. Council noted with dismay that some of the members’ annual membership fees are in arrears for more than two (2) years which is in contravention of our Constitution. The membership of those members who is in arrears for more than two years, will be terminated with immediate effect and they will have to re-apply for membership.
6. Our new 5-year Strategic Plan has been completed and is in the process of being printed.
7. The Secretary’s contract has been extended from 1 April 2020 until a service provider for secretariat services has been appointed. Council is in the process of procuring secretariat services and announcement will be made in due course.

Lastly, the Council wishes you and your loved ones good health.

Kindest regards
Prof Norman Maiwashe
President: Council of the South African Society for Animal Science (SASAS)
29 May 2020

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