Why is transformation needed in this program area?

According to the results of the 2013/14 agricultural sample survey in Ethiopia, regional level average losses of animals from known diseases amount up to 10% for cattle, 34% for sheep, 43% for goats and 98% for chicken. Part of the explanation for the unacceptably low levels of livestock production and productivity lies in the huge losses in production and reproduction capacity from diseases and parasites, as well as the limited capacity of both the public and private sectors to deliver essential services for the control and prevention of these heavy losses.

Integrated, effective veterinary services are essential not only to reduce losses in production and productivity, but also to safely manage diseases and parasites that affect both animals and humans as well as control disease risks that hinder the domestic and export trade of livestock and livestock products.

Current challenges in the animal health program area are the prevalence of major diseases and parasites, capacity gaps in both the public and private sectors, difficulties in the adequacy and quality of veterinary inputs, limited involvement of the private sector in the delivery of private goods and services and a lack of clarity in the veterinary chain of command.

What are the objectives of this program area during GTP II?

This program area envisions seeing modern and strong animal health services that comply with international standards, while enabling the enhanced utilization of animal resources which can be realized through enhanced quality services in animal health, public health, and food safety and animal welfare that comply with international standards and contribute to the achievement of food security, poverty alleviation and socioeconomic growth. The specific objectives include reduced animal stock morbidity and mortality rates, improved quality, affordability and cost-effectiveness of animal health services, improved accessibility and efficiency of service delivery, improved market access and improved public health and food safety.

What are the focus areas of this program?

Reducing adult and young stock mortality (YASM) in meat and milk animals was identified as a strategic focus of this program during the GTP II period. This can be addressed by setting mortality benchmarks and working towards achieving them, building capacity for the early detection of and rapid response to manage trans-boundary diseases, having an effective legislated veterinary chain of command in the control of transboundary animal diseases and by actively driving livestock off-takes to maximize the realized benefits from reduced disease and parasite burdens. The unique attributes of pastoral production environments justify the development of tailor-made veterinary service delivery models.

Veterinary services rely on the efficient supply of a range of inputs for use at field and laboratory levels. A sustainable funding system is critical to ensuring the adequate and timely delivery of these inputs at various levels.

Another focus area of this program is the continual development of an up-to-date list of notifiable diseases, as well as the roll out of appropriate disease control programs for at least high priority diseases.