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Veterinary & Disease Control
The establishment of TFCAs will undoubtedly pose health challenges when extending the geographic range of certain animal pathogens and disease vectors
and when interactions between animal health, ecosystem services and human well being are still poorly understood.
Despite the potential for wildlife based tourism to generate wealth, small scale agro-pastrolism continues to be an important livelihood option for many people
living within the KAZA TFCA.
As such, there is a need to address holistically, this juncture of developing alternative land uses and transboundary natural resource management with livelihood and environmental security.
The management of animal diseases remains a major cause for concern, for economic and conservation reasons. At least two of the five partner countries have access to lucrative export beef markets and therefore due attention will be required to ensure the prevention of disease that could threaten their agricultural economies.
It is within this broader context of environmental and social impacts that animal health challenges are being addressed through a sub group of the Conservation Working Group for the KAZA TFCA. The potential for cross border transmission of a variety of pests and both human and livestock diseases cannot be ignored if the TFCA is to be fully embraced by all its stakeholders.
Although TFCA’s offer the opportunity to link fragmented wildlife habitats through securing and rehabilitating wildlife corridors, what impact this could have on the spread of disease to both human and livestock populations, and vice versa, is little understood. There is also a need to develop formal policies on animal health and disease control for these TFCAs. These are some of the issues to be addressed by the working group.
A ground breaking workshop on the control and management of Trans Boundary Animal Diseases (TADs) was held in Kasane, Botswana between 11th and 14th November 2008. The workshop, that brought together a wide spectrum of experts in wildlife ecology, animal health, socio-economic and development specialists was organized by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and sponsored by European Commission and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Participants were drawn from institutions such as the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), Animal Health for Environment and Development (AHEAD) of the Wildlife Conservation Society of the US, the SADC Secretariat and the SADC member states.
The focus of the workshop was on the fact that TFCAs bring with them major advantages for biodiversity conservation but that they also present serious challenges from disease transmission between domesticated and wild animals which can impact negatively on the lucrative international beef markets.
The primary aim of the workshop was to promote an understanding between conservationists and those that favour livestock production and trade systems in the hope that the two opposing groups would develop strategies to facilitate rural development using the wildlife and livestock resources.