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Final Communique – Animal Welfare Continental Consultative Stakeholders Conference

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© 2015 Donkey Sanctuary. A child holding a donkey. © 2015 Donkey Sanctuary. A child holding a donkey.The first Continental Consultative Stakeholders Conference on Animal Welfare (AW) took place at African Union Inter-african Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) in Nairobi, Kenya on 30th November to 1st December 2015. Directors of Veterinary Services from 27 African Union (AU) Members States (MS) namely: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Comoros, Congo/Brazzaville, DRC, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe attended the meeting. In attendance also were representatives from COMESA and IGAD; experts in animal welfare (AW) from the Brooke Hospital for Animals (The Brooke); the Donkey Sanctuary; the World Animal Protection; the African Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW); and the Pan African Alliance for Animal Welfare (PAAWA); and National AW NGOs from Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. The World Animal Health Organization (OIE) and Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO) were also represented at the meeting.

The Conference was co-funded by World Animal Protection, the Brooke Hospital for Animals (The Brooke), the Donkey Sanctuary and AU-IBAR through European Union and USAID funded program (VET-GOV and SMP-AH) projects with the technical support of the OIE and FAO.

The meeting was officially opened by Dr. Thomas Ndulu Daido, Senior Deputy Director of Veterinary Services representing the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Republic of Kenya. Goodwill messages were delivered by Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy, the Director AU-IBAR; Ms. Beryl Mutonomo-Watkiss representing the CEO the World Animal Protection; Mr. Fred Ochieng on behalf of The Brooke; Dr. Bojia Endebu on behalf of the Donkey Sanctuary; Dr Samuel Wakhusama on behalf of the OIE and Dr Bouna Diop on behalf of the FAO.

Overall objective and specific objectives

The overall objective of the meeting was to create awareness on AW agenda in Africa including the increasing importance of compliance with OIE AW standards by Member’s States.

The specific objectives were:

  • To sensitize CVOs and livestock sector stakeholders on AW agenda development in Africa and mobilize support for Universal declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW);
  • To refine and adopt AW key priority issues and intervention areas within the context of Africa;
  • To discuss and adopt the TORs for the proposed African Platform for Animal Welfare (APAW) and establish modalities towards operationalization of APAW;
  • To establish a process of developing AW strategy including results framework, strategic alliances, resource mobilization, and to develop a roadmap for the effective implementation (and mainstreaming) of AW agenda;
  • To create awareness and sensitization on compliance with AW standards including working equids
  • To develop and adopt a roadmap for AW implementation across the continent

The proceedings of the two day conference enabled the participants to address the various topics in the agenda that included:

  • Conference background paper
  • Continental initiative and perspectives
  • Global Initiatives on Animal Welfare - The Standards
  • State of AW in selected countries and RECs
  • Donkey Sanctuary – Experiences in donkey welfare improvements
  • The Brooke’s work in Africa (Egypt, Ethiopia, West and East Africa)
  • World Animal Protection - Interventions and strategy in Africa
  • Key issues and priority areas on animal welfare for Africa
  • Establishment of a Mechanism for coordinating the AW Agenda in Africa; African Platform for AW (APAW)

© 2015 Donkey Sanctuary. A woman giving water to her donkey in Ukambani.© 2015 Donkey Sanctuary. A woman giving water to her donkey in Ukambani.During working group sessions, participants discussed the key issues, and prioritized animal welfare interventions; and defined the coordination mechanism to drive the agenda across the continent through an African Platform for Animal Welfare (APAW).

Following productive deliberations, the meeting agreed on the following key issues that affect animal welfare in Africa:

Establishment of an African Platform on Animal Welfare (APAW)

This was as a follow-up on the realisation that there is a critical gap in harmonisation and coordination of AW interventions, and information collation and dissemination across Africa. An interim steering committee was appointed to fast track its establishment and subsequent institutionalisation within the AU-IBAR.

Public awareness, education and training

The participants agreed that there is an animal welfare awareness gap among the public as well as professionals, decision makers, and enforcement agencies. The participants therefore recommended collective awareness effort, advocacy, and integration of animal welfare in the formal education curriculum at all levels. The participants further recommended the development and implementation of an AW communication strategy.

Laws, legislations and standards

The participants noted that African countries were at different levels with regard to animal welfare laws, legislations and standards. The laws are either lacking or not adequate or inadequately enforced. Similarly, the participants noted that despite Africa MS being signatories to the OIE standards, there is limited understanding of the standards and minimal compliance with the standards.

Resourcing

The participants pointed out the inadequacy of resources in most African countries particularly financial, technical and qualified personnel on animal welfare and animal health. The participants expressed the need for capacity building training programs to enhance skills and competencies of the animal welfare actors and further called on governments to allocate adequate budgetary support to improve animal welfare

Public Health

Zoonotic diseases such as rabies were highlighted as significant public health issue in most African countries. Underlying issues included inhumane stray dog population management, poor animal management practices, climate change and poverty.

Research

Participants expressed concern on inadequacy and unavailability of scientific data on animal welfare in Africa. This was identified as the greatest impediment to evidence-based advocacy for informed decision-making. They called for support into research and information sharing.

Emerging issues

Participants expressed concern on other relevant issues such as HIV and aids, youth empowerment, technology and innovations, climate change, culture and religion that have an effect on animal welfare

© 2015 Donkey Sanctuary. A gentle man gone swimming with his donkey in Lamu.© 2015 Donkey Sanctuary. A gentle man gone swimming with his donkey in Lamu.Recommendations

  • Considering that animal welfare and human wellbeing are closely linked;
  • Noting that animals are vital in transforming Africa’s economy;
  • Considering that animal welfare is increasingly a global concern;
  • Considering that the African Governments have a crucial role to protect and safeguard animal welfare through the development and implementation of national and regional policy frameworks in the African context;
  • Considering the need for a coordinated and harmonized approach;

The participants recommended

To Members and RECs

  1. That national and regional AW networks be established and integrated into the existing networks
  2. That the RECs and MS ratify the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW)
  3. MS adopt and implement, as a priority, OIE standards for animal welfare, including upcoming standards on working equids, livestock transport and slaughter, stray dog population management and disaster management
  4. The general public and in particular the youth be targeted in AW awareness and communication
  5. That AW interventions target all animals and not only animals with market economic value
  6. To take advantage of national and regional livestock policy hubs to mainstream AW at national and regional level

To AU-IBAR, FAO, OIE and partners

  1. That the AU institute Africa’s day for animal welfare
  2. AU to assist RECs and MS in ratifying the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW)
  3. AU to carry out and/or adopt evidence based research in animal welfare as basis for decision making including existing work such as the invisible workers document of the Brooke
  4. AU, RECs, FAO and OIE and partners continue to assist MS across Africa to harmonize policy and legislation on animal welfare
  5. AU, RECs and MS develop and implement a comprehensive AW training program
  6. AU to develop a platform for data collection, analysis and dissemination of knowledge for evidence based advocacy and implementation
  7. That the AU with support from partners, establish and operationalize African Platform for Animal Welfare (APAW)
  8. The AU and RECs take the lead in resource mobilization

Acknowledgement

The participants to the 1st Continental Consultative Stakeholder Conference on Animal Welfare are grateful to the Government of Kenya, The World Animal Protection, The Brooke, the Donkey Sanctuary, FAO, OIE and AU-IBAR for the support extended to them during the preparation and conduct of the conference.

The Participants Done in Nairobi, 1st December 2015

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Final Communique – Animal Welfare Continental Consultative Stakeholders Conference
Date 2015-12-14 Language  English Filesize 876.79 KB