Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Animal husbandry needs centralization study argues

The International Organization for Animal Health, OIE, which is responsible for auditing the health of animals across the globe, has audited the health status of Ethiopia’s domestic animals and submitted its feedback to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). Even though the report was published several months ago, the government has not published the findings which identified the strengths and challenges faced in Ethiopia’s animal husbandry sector.
The report argues that a more centralized animal care system would improve their health. “Decentralized veterinary service systems could be subject to political influences, inconsistencies and delayed decision making at the local level. Legislation for emergency responses lacks a singular chain of command. Yet, it requires a singular chain of command like the one we see in military services,” said Dr. Darsema Gulima, Senior Epidemiologist at Animal and Plant Health Regulatory Directorate of the Ministry.
Around the globe veterinary services are considered a global public good. This is becoming increasingly true as society become more global and meat and animal products are traded cross border. 
The report also identified poor coordination among animal and human health agencies concerning food product safety, including milk and residues; and absences of fully international safety accreditation as weakness. This was made public at a three day workshop hosted at the 48 year old NVI which operates nationally out of a single head office. The institute is currently producing 17 different types of vaccines for animals.
The three day workshop looked at the challenges and achievements of a one year project called Vaccines for the Control of Neglected Animal Diseases in Africa (VACNADA) which was financed by the African Union and European Union at a cost of 1.2 million Euros in Ethiopia. This project was initiated following a 2007 and 2008 global food price hike. Out of the 54 African countries, 33 were beneficiaries of the VACNADA project.
According to Dr. Yismashewa Wogayehu, a project coordinator at the Ministry of Agriculture, more than 930 thousand people have been helped by this project.
Ethiopia is home to 52 million cattle, 33 million goats, 32.5 million poultry, 344 thousand mules, 4.5 million donkeys, 2.5 million camels and 1.5 million horses, based on information obtained from the ministry.