In July 2017, the European Union in partnership with AU-IBAR Enhancing Somali Livestock Trade (ESOLT) Project and IGAD/ICPALD Standards, Methods and Procedures (SMP-AH) Project implemented a training to improve the participatory, inclusive and effective governance of procedures used in the Somali quarantines.
The aim of this training was to:
- Equip quarantine veterinary staff with knowledge and skills in quarantine operation and practices to mitigate against the risk of exporting live animals with TAD agents.
- Enhance communication and cooperation between the staff of the various quarantine stations to advocate and apply harmonized procedures.
- Exchange lessons among personnel drawn from the different quarantines.
- Facilitate discussions on enhancing the role of owners of the quarantines and Ministries in charge of Livestock for improved compliance.
The end result of the project is to ensure more livestock exports, of better quality, of different types reaching various regional and international markets in a reliable and consistent way and competitively.
The 5-day training was held from 2nd-6th July 2017 at the IGAD Sheikh Technical Veterinary School (ISTVS) in Somaliland.
The training was officially opened by State Minister of Somaliland Ministry of Livestock Hon. Engineer Abdi Rashid Mohamoud Ali, accompanied by the Mayor of the district Mr. Ibrahim Abdallah Absiye, and other delegates from Puntland and Mogadishu. In his remarks, the Minister welcomed participants to Somaliland and noted the essence of harmonising procedures within the Somali export quarantines as a way of addressing the ban in livestock trade.
Speaking during the course of the training the ESOLT project coordinator Dr. George Matete appreciated the support of the European Union as the largest donor to livestock projects in Somalia. He noted that there has been a capacity gap and failing in livestock exports from Somalia. The ESOLT project seeks to provide appropriate capacity for livestock trade and promote sit-downs by participants drawn from various Somali regions. Finally, he urged the EU to continue providing funds to the sub-sector.
Dr. Ameha Sebsibe from IGAD/ICAPID underscored the importance of livestock certification and animal trade in the horn. In order to apply the requirements of the importing countries, it is imperative that the quarantine staff have concrete coordination mechanism and share information of animal health issues as way of minimizing the recurrent livestock ban.
The 45 participants drawn from the Federal Government, Puntland and Somaliland as well as the quarantines were exposed to the theory and the practice of quarantine standard operational procedures using a learner- centred methodology that combined plenary sessions and group work interspaced with group discussions.
- The workshop recommended the need for development partners to expeditiously organize a meeting as soon as possible, between the Somali ministers, the CVOs of importing countries (Gulf countries plus Egypt) importers, exporters, quarantines owners and chambers of commerce, to negotiate lifting the ban and the sustainability of trade. Both AU-IBAR and the Regional Economic Block IGAD through ICPALD should initiate bilateral negotiations between importing and exporting countries based on scientific base with transparency to share ideas as well as bilateral understanding under the umbrella of the IGAD.
- The meeting recommended the need to build the capacity building for the public sector veterinary services to regulate animal inspection and certification particularly within quarantine stations as per their mandate as well as to promote effective communications between the different Somali entities and all livestock stakeholders. Such trainings should include for all value chain practitioners in the field of animal welfare.
- Activate the quarantine network established by IGAD for all Somali quarantines for continuous communication, exchange of information and expertise.
- Implement continuous capacity building and awareness for the livestock traders and owners and a biosecurity plan for the quarantine stations.
- Encourage the use of the OIE website to get updated rules and regulations and domesticate such OIE international standards, guidelines and recommendation in their legal framework for trade of live animals and all related issues this is in the light of the recent demand from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that quarantine period be extended to 30 days as an export requirement - a potential trade barrier.