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SADC TADs Project Scientific Symposium on Foot and Mouth Disease in SADC
Joint SADC / AHEAD Workshop on Reconciling Livestock Health and Wildlife Conservation Goals in Southern Africa: Strategies for Sustainable Economic Development

Phakalane Golf Estate, Gaborone, Botswana, November 13-16, 2012

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In November 2012, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Wildlife Conservation Society's AHEAD (Animal & Human Health for the Environment And Development) Program co-hosted a 3½ day forum that incorporated a technical symposium on foot and mouth disease (FMD) and a workshop on “Reconciling Livestock Health and Wildlife Conservation Goals in Southern Africa: Strategies for Sustainable Economic Development."

Approximately 100 invited delegates (from government, nongovernmental organizations, multilateral institutions, the private sector as well as academia) with expertise in the livestock agriculture, wildlife conservation and other sectors converged at this important forum in order to map out next steps for optimizing cross-sectoral land-use planning in the interest of resilient livelihoods and development success that is economically, socially and ecologically sustainable over the long term.

Basis for the meeting:

It is now well recognized that across parts of southern Africa both livestock and wildlife represent economic growth opportunities. However, costs associated with current approaches to managing international trade-associated animal disease risks often preclude the livestock sector's access to international markets. Many attempts to meet international standards related to 'freedom from disease' under currently emphasized geographically-based policy constructs have had significant negative repercussions for free-ranging wildlife, largely related to veterinary cordon fencing. The time has come to seriously explore alternative animal health and trade management regimes that do not implicitly pit the livestock and wildlife sectors against each other.

At the June 2012 meeting of the SADC Livestock Technical Committee, the Committee endorsed commodity-based approaches to disease management and trade, adopted OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code Article 8.5.25 as a regional standard, and delineated the significant challenges posed by FMD currently faced by the region. All of this provided a timely opportunity to rethink the region’s approach to FMD management.

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