New community animal health platforms to guide participatory improvement of livestock in four regions of Mali

CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish

Feed the Future Mali Livestock Technology Scaling (MLST) Project: community animal health platforms facilitators training Participants of a community animal health platform facilitators training in Mali (photo credit: ILRI/Michel Dione).

Four community animal health platforms (CAHPs) have been formed to harness collective action in addressing animal health and livestock value constraints in four regions of Mali.

The platforms are a key part of the Feed the Future Mali Livestock Technology Scaling (MLTS) program, which aims to improve livestock production and related incomes for 61,000 households in the country.

Their establishment follows a training workshop, held 17-27 September 2016, for facilitators identified by the MLTS program partners who include the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, L’Association Malienne d’Eveil au Développement Durable (AMEED) and Catholic Relief Services. The workshops were facilitated by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and took place in the respective regions.

The four CAHPs, in each of the four program intervention communes—Farakala in Sikasso, Sincina in Koutiala, Sofara in Mopti and Djenne commune in…

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WorldFish breeding program produces 15th generation of improved GIFT tilapia

CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish

At WorldFish, the long-running selective breeding program for the Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) strain is fundamental to its efforts to improve livelihoods and food security in Asia, the Pacific and Africa by improving aquaculture and fisheries.

The development of faster-growing tilapia species helps farmers increase their productivity, which is especially beneficial for poor, small-scale producers in developing countries who depend on aquaculture for food, income and nutrition yet often have low yields.

In 2016, WorldFish continued this vital GIFT breeding work, funded by the European Union, highlighted by the development of the 15th generation of GIFT and the first-ever distribution of GIFT fry to Myanmar.

Read the full story

Contributed by Kate Bevitt, WorldFish

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New publication warns of rising use of antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs in farm animals

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Antimicrobial consumption in chickens (A) & pigs (B) in 2010

Antimicrobial consumption in chickens (A) & pigs (B) in 2010. Figure from PNAS paper: Global trends in antimicrobial use in food animals, published 20 Mar 2015 by Thomas Van Boeckel, Tim Robinson and others.

As reported in a scientific paper published 20 Mar 2015 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), Global trends in antimicrobial use in food animals, worldwide antimicrobial consumption is expected to rise by a staggering 67% between 2010 and 2030.

Use of such drugs has grown as livestock systems intensify around the world to meet a growing world demand for meat, milk and eggs, particularly in developing countries.

Widespread use of these drugs to prevent disease in farm animals or to promote their growth is a growing concern. Inappropriate use may contribute to growing microbe resistance, which makes these drugs ineffective in treating infections in people as well as animals. In addition, residues of…

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Recent drought-induced livestock losses in East Africa mask deeper problem of animal feed scarcities

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Cattle grazing on Brachiaria grass at the ILRI campus in Nairobi, Kenya (photo credit: ILRI/Collins Mutai).

The following excerpts are taken from an opinion piece published by An Notenbaert, a former scientist with ILRI for 11 years who now serves as the tropical forages coordinator for Africa at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

‘With the onset of the rains, livestock farmers around Kenya might breathe a sigh of relief. But they have come too late for the thousands of cattle that have already died, hit by the drought that led President Uhuru Kenyatta to declare a national disaster in February this year. . . .

Yet this phenomenon is one which will not be solved by rain alone. It is down to a few, fundamental challenges which go deeper than drought.

Across east and southern Africa, livestock farmers routinely face the same hurdles in increasing meat and milk production:…

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Why (and how) human health (and development) depends on animal health—OIE’s Monique Eloit

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South African cattle dead from a devastating outbreak of rinderpest, 1896 (photographer unknown; public domain image).

The following are excerpts of an opinion piece written by Monique Eloit, director general of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

‘For centuries, rinderpest, a highly contagious and fatal cattle plague, spread across the world bringing social and economic devastation.

‘This deadly virus, passed through bodily fluids, preyed on cattle and buffalo and caused fever, severe diarrhea and dehydration.

When it first emerged in Africa at the end of the 19th century, it killed up to 90 percent of the continent’s cattle herd.

‘At the peak of its reach, it decimated livestock from Europe to Africa, from the Philippines to Brazil. In Nigeria alone, the losses to rinderpest throughout the 1980s amounted to $2 billion.

‘In the grip of this threat, a global response was mounted.

The World Organisation for Animal…

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Livestock for food security and nutrition—Committee on World Food Security policy recommendations

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Tana River watershed, Kenya

Rachael Njeri has started growing forage strips on her farm in the Kenya’s Tana River watershed. The forage plants help prevent soil erosion and provide feed for her cattle (photo credit: CIAT/Georgina Smith).

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in Oct 2016 endorsed recommendations on Sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition: What roles for livestock?

The following policy recommendations build on the main findings of the CFS High Level Panel of Expert’s Jul 2016 report #10, on Sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition: What roles for livestock?

The sustainable development of agriculture, including livestock, is essential for poverty reduction and the achievement of food security and nutrition.

The recommendations aim to strengthen the contribution of the livestock sector to sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition and contribute to the progressive realization of the right to adequate food, in the overall context of achieving the 2030…

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Pathogen ecologies and human interventions: The natural and unnatural histories of zoonotic diseases

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Bamako - 3 Goats in a Trunk

Three diapered goats in the boot of a car in Bamako, Mali (photo on Flickr by Romel Jacinto/37 °C).

This week, the Lancet publishes a series of three papers on diseases that are ‘zoonotic’, that is, infections shared by people and other animals. As William Keresh of EcoHealth Alliance (New York) and his colleagues explain in the first paper, Ecology of zoonoses: natural and unnatural histories, the sharing of pathogenic organisms by people and wild and domesticated animals is a natural biological phenomenon that, ‘with present anthropogenic trends’ and without similarly integrated disease prevention and control responses, presents a clear and present danger to humanity.

‘More than 60% of human infectious diseases are caused by pathogens shared with wild or domestic animals. Zoonotic disease organisms include those that are endemic in human populations or enzootic in animal populations with frequent cross-species transmission to people.

‘Some of these diseases have only…

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