AHEAD Update – November / December 2017

Dear AHEAD Colleagues:

*Welcome to the latest issue of the AHEAD Update. As always, if you would like to post an item in the next Update, please just send it to us – thanks.

Updated (2017) Commodity-Based Trade of Beef Guidelines Now Available

Guidelines on Management of Foot and Mouth Disease Risk through Value Chain Approaches for Beef Exporting Enterprises in Southern Africa, 2nd Edition (2017), Technical Report on behalf of Cornell University’s AHEAD Program.

In most of southern Africa the vast majority of cattle are located in areas not free of foot and mouth disease (FMD), leaving owners of these cattle with limited access to regional and international beef markets. This situation constrains investment in cattle production, thereby limiting rural development and helping to entrench rural poverty in one of the least developed regions of the world.

For decades, this situation has been accepted as irredeemable because the type of FMD prevalent in the region is maintained by wildlife and is therefore technically difficult or impossible to eliminate. Moreover, until recently, international trade rules and conventions were founded on the need for the locality of beef production to be free of FMD. Fortunately, this situation is changing so that today a number of alternative approaches are available.

The first edition of these Guidelines was published early in 2015 to inform beef producing enterprises of the nature of developments at that time and specifically how, step by step, a value chain approach could be exploited to broaden market access. Since May 2015, further changes in international animal health standards for trade in beef produced in FMD-endemic areas have been adopted by the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health). These changes necessitated this updated edition because they expand options for enabling market access for beef producers in southern Africa not located in areas free from FMD.

The Guidelines can be downloaded at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/kaza/181114-guidelines-for-implementing-cbt-final.pdf.

New Market Assessment for Botswana CBT Beef Available

Exploring Market Opportunities for Commodity-Based Trade (CBT) of Beef from Ngamiland, Botswana: Towards Harmonization of the Livestock and Wildlife Sectors (2017), final consultancy report prepared for Cornell University’s AHEAD Program.

The authors have reviewed Ngamiland beef production from as far back as the turn of the 20th Century. Apart from the period between the establishment of BMC Maun in 1984 to the outbreak of CBPP in 1995, the overriding impression has been that for more than 100 years Ngamiland has operated in a manner not conducive to any form of commercial beef herd development. Regardless of the circumstances that have prevailed up to now, with the new possibilities offered by CBT principles, the time may have come to move Ngamiland out of the FMD doldrums and bring beef forward as a valuable contributor to household incomes and GDP. It is very clear that while this is the desired direction, implementation of the required changes in the livestock sector is going to be challenging, and that education, finance and market development are the key areas of concern.

Exploring Market Opportunities can be downloaded at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/kaza/171003_rpt_final_marketopportunitiesforcbtbeef_ngamiland.pdf.


* Beef Production and Animal Health Management Systems in Communal Farming Areas at the Wildlife-Livestock Interface in Southern Africa (2017), Van Rooyen J. Doctoral dissertation, University of Pretoria – Development of transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) in southern Africa depends, among other things, on the ability of stakeholders to find practical and sustainable solutions for wildlife-livestock integration. Due to the presence of buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in most of the TFCAs in southern Africa, foot and mouth disease (FMD) has to be controlled in susceptible livestock species sharing the rangelands with wildlife. Conventional FMD control measures act as an additional burden on communal livestock producers and may hamper rural development and wildlife-livestock integration even further. However, commodity-based trade (CBT) in the form of an integrated approach to the control of both food safety and disease risk along the entire beef value chain has been proposed as a more favourable alternative for ensuring market access for beef produced at the wildlife-livestock interface. The objective of the present study was to analyse beef production, health and trade systems of farmers at the wildlife-livestock interface within FMD-endemic zones in order to identify challenges, risks and limitations that may impact compliance with proposed CBT prerequisites as well as value chain participation. Based on the findings of this study, a holistic, integrated approach (‘Herding for Health’ model) is proposed at the village level that could be implemented to serve as an incentive for equitable participation by farmers whilst 1) addressing the risks and limitations of current farming systems, 2) ensuring greater wildlife-livestock compatibility, and 3) promoting consistent market access by fulfilling the requirements of an integrated value chain approach based on CBT standards. To access the full dissertation, see http://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/60128.

* Foot and Mouth Disease Virus: Current Research and Emerging Trends (2017), new book edited by Sobrino F and Domingo E, Caister Academic Press, UK, 510 pp. – This volume provides essential scientific background on FMD and its etiological agent, FMD virus, as well as comprehensive, interdisciplinary and up-to-date information on basic research findings and applied developments contributing to FMD control. The eighteen chapters have been written by leading FMD researchers. Topics include genome organization, translation and replication, virus-coded proteinases, structure of virus particles, cell receptors and host range, the RNA polymerase, quasispecies dynamics and virus evolution, innate and acquired immune responses, and the clinical signs of FMD and its natural habitats. Further chapters deal with various aspects of disease control such as diagnosis, current and new vaccines, antivirals and epidemiological models. The role of international organizations in FMD control and the impact of FMDV as a re-emergent virus are also addressed. For more details, see https://www.caister.com/fmdv.

* The Buffalo-Cattle Interface in Zimbabwe: A Preliminary Review (2016), Cumming DHM, Technical Report to the AHEAD Program – The interface between buffalo and domestic livestock, primarily cattle, can be viewed at different spatial and temporal scales. At a broad national scale the distribution of buffalo and cattle are seen to overlap, or at least be contiguous, when fences separating the two species are damaged or absent. At the local scale where the cattle and buffalo are apparently using the same area there may be spatial separation at a finer scale, with very little if any overlap. There may also be temporal separation in that they do not occur in the same vicinity, such as at a waterhole, at the same time. This preliminary review presents recent information on the broad scale distribution of buffalo and cattle that was obtained during the 2014 aerial censuses of elephant range in Zimbabwe. Recent research on the more immediate interface between buffalo and cattle, conducted in the South East Lowveld (SEL) and in Northwest Matabeleland, is also reviewed. Two management implications for reducing contact between cattle and buffalo emerge from this preliminary review. At a broad scale, the grazing of cattle in protected areas containing buffalo should be prevented. At a fine scale, cattle herders can minimise risks of FMD transmission from buffalo by avoiding areas where buffalo may graze and watering places where they may drink. Education, awareness and compliance by herders may contribute towards minimising the risk of FMD outbreaks at the interface. See http://www.wcs-ahead.org/kaza/160921-cumming-2016-buffalo-cattle-interface.pdf.

* Announcing Wildlife Health Cornell, A College of Veterinary Medicine Center of Excellence – Wildlife Health Cornell represents an unprecedented approach to the health challenges wild animals face in the northeast U.S. and around the world – a comprehensive, science-based response with an emphasis on the types of interdisciplinary collaboration often required to foster real progress along the science to policy and action continuum. Wildlife Health Cornell has grown out of a palpable sense of genuine urgency regarding the fate of our planet's wildlife, an increasing understanding of our own dependence on the planet's natural systems, and a recognition that it will take a new generation of colleagues to halt and reverse the trends we face. The new Wildlife Health Cornell website is https://www2.vet.cornell.edu/wildlifehealthcornell.


* 2018 Pathways Africa Conference and Training, January 6-11, 2018, Windhoek, Namibia – Colorado State University and The Cheetah Conservation Fund are co-hosting the above in partnership with the Large Carnivore Management Association of Namibia and the Namibia Nature Foundation. Training will run from January 6-8, 2018, followed by the conference from January 8-11 in Windhoek, Namibia. Pathways is a conference and training program designed to address key issues that arise as people and wildlife struggle to coexist in a sustainable and healthy manner, with a mission focused on increasing professionalism and effectiveness in the human dimensions of the fisheries and wildlife management field. Pathways Africa is inspired by the successful Pathways Kenya conference held January 10-13, 2016 in Nanyuki, Kenya. For more information, see https://sites.warnercnr.colostate.edu/pathways-africa/.

Again, if you have items for the next AHEAD Update, please just let us know– thanks.

"What is AHEAD?" Animal & Human Health for the Environment And Development was launched at the 2003 IUCN World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa.  By assembling a ‘dream team’ of veterinarians, ecologists, biologists, social and economic scientists, agriculturists, wildlife managers, public health specialists and others from across East and southern Africa, we were fortunate to have tapped into some of the most innovative conservation and development thinking on the African continent – and AHEAD was born. Since then, a range of programs addressing conservation, health, and concomitant development challenges have been launched with the support of a growing list of implementing partners and donors who see the intrinsic value of the One World, One Health approach. AHEAD is a convening, facilitative mechanism, working to create enabling environments that allow different and often competing sectors to literally come to the same table and find collaborative ways forward to address challenges at the interface of wildlife health, livestock health, and human health and livelihoods. We convene stakeholders; help delineate conceptual frameworks to underpin planning, management and research; and provide technical support and resources for projects stakeholders identify as priorities. AHEAD recognizes the need to look at health and disease not in isolation but within a given region's environmental and socioeconomic context.

All the best,

Steve & Shirley