Countries in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHoA), with support from AU-IBAR, ICPALD, USAID and EU, are undertaking measures to enhance prevention and control of animal diseases. The intention is guarantee disease free livestock exports to the Middle East and North Africa.
DUBAI (23rd November 2015)- With increased recognition of the importance of market oriented livestock production, especially in GHoA pastoral areas , livestock stakeholders from the GHoA and the Middle East are meeting this week to agree on modalities for sustaining and enhancing safe trade in livestock commodities between the two regions. The modalities aim at preventing livestock trade disruptions occasioned by import bans by Middle East Countries as previously experienced during outbreaks of transboundary animal diseases (TADs), especially Rift Valley Fever (RVF). Previous livestock import bans by Middle East countries resulted in informal live animal trade. This posed major health risks to human and animal populations in the importing countries. Hence, the modalities will also explore joint management approaches to counter factors that would lead to trade bans.
TADs, some of which have a public health impact, such as Rift Valley Fever (RVF), are a major challenge to livestock production, marketing and trade. They also decrease resilience of vulnerable households especially women and youth in arid and semi-arid lands of GHoA.
The forum is jointly organized by the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD), with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID, Kenya and East Africa) through the Standard Methods and Procedures Project (SMP-AH) and the European Union (EU) through the Enhancing Somali Livestock trade (ESOLT).
The conference was officially opened by Madame Majd Al-Herbawi, Director Animal Health and Development, Ministry of Environment and Water, United Arab Emirates. She informed the participants that the UAE is a regional hub of livestock trade and her Ministry was therefore keen on updating animal health measures to stabilise the trade. She informed the meeting that her government had adopted a number of measures such as the ‘National Agenda for Animal Health’ and hoped that the recommendations of the meeting would contribute towards the achievement of the objects of the agenda.