Led by Group Executive: Animal Sciences, Dr Andrew Magadlela, the Animal Sciences programme is one of four core programmes of the Agricultural Research Council. The programme's outputs largely support the organisation's strategic goals that aim to improve the productivity, production, competitiveness and sustainability of livestock based agriculture, to enhance the productive use and conservation of natural resources and to translate research results to support agrarian transformation and the efficiency and competitiveness of the agricultural sector in South Africa. In addition, the programme serves as the custodian of national assets and manages certain national services on behalf of the Department of Science and Technology and Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Under this programme, the organisation engages in Animal Health. Animal Production and Aquaculture. The main sites of operation for the programme are at Irene, in the south of Pretoria and at Onderstepoort, in the north west of Pretoria. The programme has satellite stations strategically positioned in almost all the nine provinces of South Africa.

Animal Health


Animal Production

Led by Senior Manager Research, Dr Misheck Mulumba and a management team of highly qualified research managers, the Animal Health Division of the ARC has a long tradition of veterinary research since its founding in 1908 by Sir Arnold Theiler. It is nationally and internationally recognized as a veterinary centre of excellence.

The Animal Health division plays an important role in maintaining the health of our national herd and wildlife. The division focuses on executing veterinary research to improve existing vaccines, diagnostic products and to develop new ones; diagnostic services for enhanced disease prevention, control and surveillance (which plays a significant role in maintaining the required animal health status and trade in animals and animal products in South Africa and the region) and producing foot and mouth disease and blood vaccines. The division provides scientific support for Veterinary Services in effective risk management for quality of life for all in South Africa. It strives to be a world-class veterinary research institute in providing scientific support. Research activities focus on the development and improvement of vaccines and diagnostic tests, applying the latest molecular biological techniques. The division promotes animal health and welfare by providing an effective and efficient diagnostic service and producing vaccines against Foot and mouth and tick-borne diseases. The Animal Health division is the collaborating centre for both the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) surveillance and control of animal diseases in Africa and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations for the emergency preparedness for transboundary animal diseases for Africa. It also hosts seven OIE reference laboratories for economically important viral diseases namely: African horse sickness, bluetongue, Foot and mouth disease, lumpy skin disease, Rift valley fever, rabies and African swine fever. We provide a wide range of applied research and consultancy, diagnosis and surveillance on livestock diseases to the National and Provincial Government and commercial customers.

This campus maintains a high standard of quality in all aspects of our operations and we continuous aim to satisfy our customers in all services we deliver as outlined in Quality Policy Statement. Our staff performs laboratory procedures in accordance with the best scientific principles. We are committed to implement the most appropriate international standards in all areas of our work. Research Programmes at the Animal Health division include Epidemiology Vectors and Paraistes, Vaccines and Diagnostics Development, Public Health and Zoonoses, Vaccine Production and Diagnostics Services.  Services provided by the division include Diagnostic Services; Training and Supply Shop and Special Services.

For more information about the Animal Health contact the division's Public Relations Office on +27 12 529 9446 alternatively email NtshaubaM@arc.agric.za or call switchboard on +27 12 529 9111 or email info-ovi@arc.agric.za.    

Led by General Manager, Professor Norman Maiwashe and a management team of vastly qualified and well-known research managers in the livestock industry, the Animal Production Campus based in Irene, with several satellite stations strategically positioned throughout the country, conducts primary and secondary research, development and technology transfer. The Campus' strategic focus is guided by the strategic goals of the Agricultural Research Council and national priorities (e.g. National Development Plan, The National Livestock Strategy, The Land and Agriculture Reform Programme, The National Research and Development Strategy).

The research and development activities are coordinated through the following disciplines:  Animal Breeding and Genetics, Germplasm Conservation and Reproductive Biotechnology, Nutrition, Rangeland Science and Forage Ecology, Dairy and Meat Science. To be effective, the research and development initiatives are increasing adopting multi-disciplinary approaches e.g. climate change research. While the research primarily focused on livestock, new industries such as aquaculture and wildlife are receiving attention.

 In addition, the Campus serves as the custodian of national assets such as the conservation of animal, forage and bacterial culture collection genetic resources, including databases and DNA banks associated with them. The Campus focuses on developing technologies to improve the quality of animals and developing genetic and physiological methods to identify and study superior livestock breeding material in order to improve the efficiency and production of the national herd; promoting animal production through improved nutrition,  holistic and integrated land-use strategies, and sustainable livestock and rangeland management systems. The following analytical services are available to clients from both private and public sector: food and feed composition analysis, microbiological analysis, shelf life studies, sensory evaluation, national genetic evaluation, parentage verification, DNA forensics and semen evaluation.

The Animal Production campus has an established network for information dissemination through its Animal Recording and Improvement Schemes and associated database (e.g. Integrated Registration and Genetic Information System - INTERGIS) managed by the Campus on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. In response to the urgent need for improved access to agricultural technology and expertise by smallholder farmers, the Campus has implemented a special-purpose vehicle called Kaonafatso Ya Dikgomo to fast-tract meaningful participation of this category of farmers in the mainstream economy.  

For more information about the Animal Production Campus contact the division's Public Relations Office on +27 12 672 9391 alternatively email ULecuona@arc.agric.za or call switchboard on +27 12 672 9111.