IGAD Center for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD) developed and validated the regional Animal welfare strategy (2017 -2021) with member states (MS). Subsequently four MS were supported to develop their national strategies (Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia/ Somaliland and Sudan). The strategies are aimed at promoting national compliance with good animal welfare practices by the public and private sectors and address issues of unfavourable government policies that resulted into under-funding and weak implementation capacity of animal welfare policies, regulations and standards.
The objectives of the regional meeting were to review the progress made on rolling out the IGAD regional strategy and progress made by member states in rolling out the strategy, learn from South African animal welfare good practices and lessons and review efforts for resource mobilization to promote animal welfare practices in the region.
The meeting was officiated by Dr. Solomon Munyua, Director, ICPALD and Dr. Charles Ochodo, on behalf of the Director of Veterinary Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Kenya. The attendees were OIE animal welfare focal points from member states, animal welfare organizations, Directors of Animal health (CVOs) and Directors of Livestock Production and private sectors. They came up with the following recommendations:
- Member states (MS) to advocate and integrate animal welfare activities into government priority programmes designed to enhance food security in order to attract national funding
- MS to support awareness creation, education and capacity building of all stakeholders (farmers, law enforcers, traders among others) about animal welfare good practices
- MS to design and implement innovative corrective actions like training, guiding and incentives to support stakeholders to comply with good animal welfare practices instead of only instituting punitive measures for mal-practices
- MS should mainstream animal welfare practices in school, college and university curricula and promote research
- MS to map out institutions and organizations promoting animal welfare initiatives (i.e specific interventions and areas of operation) and use the information for national coordination and fund mobilization
- South Sudan, Djibouti, Uganda and Somalia in collaboration with IGAD to mobilize resources to facilitate domestication of the IGAD regional animal welfare strategy and action plans
- IGAD and MS to strengthen their resource mobilization efforts targeting development partners seeking to promote animal welfare programmes and national governments.
ICPALD acknowledges and appreciates the Italian Development Cooperation for financing this event through the IGAD /FAO implemented livestock and meat project.