The three days stakeholder retreat was convened by the AU-IBAR to review the draft continental animal welfare strategy and action plan; and the African Platform for Animal Welfare (APAW) operational structure at Simba Lodge, Naivasha, Kenya from 6-8 March 2017. Over 40 participants attended the meeting including 10 CVOs representing the national governments namely Zimbabwe, Tunisia, DR Congo, Lesotho, Senegal, Morocco, Ghana, Liberia, Chad and Kenya; Regional Economic Communities (RECs), IGAD and ECOWAS; international organizations FAO and OIE as well as other animal welfare organizations: Brooke, World Horse Welfare, Donkey Sanctuary, World Animal Protection, Africa Network for Animal Welfare, Pan African Animal Welfare Alliance, World Animal Net and All Creatures Animal Welfare League.
The overall objective of the retreat was to discuss the draft continental animal welfare strategy and the APAW operational structure.
The specific objectives were:
- To Review and refine the draft African Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS) in preparation for submission to a validation workshop with specific focus on:
- Considerations of the recent OIE Global AW conference resolutions and recommendations.
- Supporting policy and legal framework.
- African Platform for Animal Welfare (APAW) organizational structure and operational modalities.
- Promotion of African Animal Welfare agenda.
- To Share experiences on Animal Welfare issues and initiatives (RECs, OIE, FAO, MS and NGOs).
The workshop was officially opened by Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy, Director of AU-IBAR. He emphasized on the socio-cultural impact of animal welfare in Africa, and the need for the African animal welfare strategy to adopt a holistic approach in seeking innovative solutions to reconcile the demands for compliance with animal welfare standards by trading partners, consumers, civil societies’ and activists with the sustainability and competiveness of African livestock and livestock products in international markets and the wellbeing of animals, while maintaining the well-being and livelihoods of those who depend and benefit from African livestock. He further echoed the paramount importance of dissemination and sharing of good animal welfare practices among actors including farmers, consumers and decision makers which are pre-requisites to acceptability of animal welfare considerations in African society.
Dr Kisa Juma Ngeiywa, Director of veterinary Services of the Republic of Kenya in his opneing remarks added the need to take into account the African context and specificity (drought, conflicts and insecurity, state of knowledge, skills and attitudes as well as the status of infrastructural and other developments); and the international requirements.
Good will messages were delivered by Dr. Berhanu Bedane from FAO Regional Office for Africa, Dr. Samuel Wakhusama, OIE Representative for Eastern Africa, Mr. Emmanuel Boure Sarr, Broooke Representative for West Africa, Mr. Alexander Mayers, Donkey Sanctuary Representative, Mr. Tennyson Jonathan Claude Williams, Director for Africa World Animal Protection, and Ms. Penny Ward , Regional Coordinator Southern Africa World Horse Welfare.
The meeting critically reviewed and amended the strategy, action plan and the operational structure of APAW. Priority working areas have been identified and agreed upon to constitute the core of the action plan to be implemented within the next six (6) years. The meeting recommended that the positive outcomes of the gathering be the basis on which AU-IBAR will be engaging MSs, RECs and partners at national and regional levels on animal welfare agenda.
Finally, the meeting commended the leadership of AU-IBAR and the exemplary partnership between AU-IBAR, World Animal Protection, the Brooke Hospital for Animals, the Donkey Sanctuary, World Horse Welfare, African Network for animal welfare (ANAW), FAO, OIE and others in mainstreaming animal welfare agenda in Africa.
The workshop was facilitated by consultants; Professor Cheikh LY, Professor Hassan Aidaros, Prof Charles Kimwele and Dr. pape Ndary Niang.