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Veterinary authorities tackle animal health

2023-09-26  Otniel Hembapu

Veterinary authorities tackle animal health

Namibia’s Directorate of Veterinary Services has convened the all-important Border Harmonisation Meeting of Veterinary Authorities, which aims to discuss and dissect all issues related to animal health at border points. 

The gathering, which is taking place at Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi region for the next three days, is being held under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform and will see representatives from Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe all in attendance. 

Amongst the many issues, participants from the various countries will exchange notes on matters of common interests and also share experiences around issues of animal health, protocols on Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) such as Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Rabies, Pest de Petits Ruminant (PPR) and others. 

A harmonised strategy and implementation plan for the control, eradication and prevention of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia in the participating countries will also be discussed in depth, while the strengthening of collaboration in the fight against TADs along the borders will top the agenda.

The meeting will also promote trade in animals and animal products without posing a risk of introducing diseases.

Namibia, a World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) recognised bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) negligible risk country since 2016, has been at the forefront of policies and strategies to combat TADs. 

The country’s efforts include a Policy on Eradication of Transboundary Animal Disease in the Northern Communal Areas, endorsed control programmes by the WOAH, and the historic endorsement of the Namibia Rabies Official Control Programme by the WOAH in May 2021. 

Namibia’s chief veterinary officer Albertina Shilongo said that coordinated efforts, harmonised strategies, surveillance protocols, and adherence to international standards laid out by the WOAH are all essential components of success in animal healthcare. 

She added that the collective strengths of these robust veterinary authorities will significantly enhance animal health in the region, ultimately opening doors for livestock producers in the market. -

2023-09-26  Otniel Hembapu

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