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"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher

The South African Society for Animal Science (SASAS) was founded on 28 April 1961, in Pretoria. It is home to animal scientists that work in a broad spectrum of the agricultural industry, including the livestock sector, animal scientists performing research, education and training at universities or research institutions and animal scientists with a keen interest in the various disciplines of the animal sciences. Specifically, SASAS positions itself to promote and advance animal science and related professions. Moreover, SASAS members collectively strive to contribute towards a robust and productive scientific knowledge economy.

The Society is the designated voluntary organisation, recognised by the SA Council for Natural Science Professions (SACNSP) (Act 27 of 2003), who is responsible for issues regarding the registration of scientists, amongst others, as well as the management of the continuing professional development (CPD) for its members and the candidate mentoring programme (CMP) of young animal scientists.

Members of SASAS are guided by the values of ethical science, independence, non-discrimination, tolerance of diversity, honesty, integrity, respect, non-partisanship, innovation, diligence, responsiveness, and collaboration.

SASAS has various activities to serve the members of the Society, including an annual congress and the South African Journal of Animal Science (SAJAS) which was initiated in 1971 and published online since 2000 as an open access journal with its 51st volume published in 2021. The journal provides a platform for local and international animal scientists to publish their scientific research in a peer-reviewed journal. SAJAS has a dedicated editor-in-chief to ensure timeous publishing of high quality research, relevant to Southern Africa and subtropical regions of the world.

The Society’s activities centres on its branches, namely the Northern, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Free State branches. Branch activities include the organising of symposia, information days, and contacting and cooperating with local organisations with similar interests on relevant issues in their regions. On a rotation basis, branches are responsible for the organising the Society’s annual congresses. A student quiz session, where animal science students from various universities in the country compete has been incorporated into the annual SASAS Congress.

The first congress of the then South African Society of Animal Production was held in Pretoria in 1962. SASAS recently celebrated a significant milestone with its 50th congress hosted in Port Elizabeth in 2017, attended by more than 350 delegates. The Society has been able to demonstrate resilience since its inception in 1961 with successful congresses and will continue to embrace new technology, as seen in the inaugural virtual congress hosted by the Northern Branch in 2021 amid the pandemic, to share and apply animal science knowledge to promote viable animal production systems while sustaining natural resources and the environment, to benefit mankind.

Trevor Dugmore
SASAS President


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