Farmers throughout Papua New Guinea lack training and awareness on animal health disease surveillance.

This concern was raised by PNG UNRE animal science lecturer Charles Maika recently during his presentation “animal health disease surveillance and its importance in PNG” at a weekly seminar attended by staff and students of the university.

Mr Maika said in the past PNG was isolated and as a result the country was free from some of the diseases that affected the livestock of other countries, but this has now changed.

There is an increase in people’s movement, trade agreements with other countries, high demand for livestock production in the country, and moreover it is difficult to monitor the country’s boarder areas.

“Because of PNG’s location – Indonesia on the west, Solomon Islands on the east and Australia on the south – it is vulnerable to diseases,” Maika explained.

Mr Maika said because of these factors, farmers critically need training and awareness to understand the signs and movement of diseases, whom to report it to and how to deal with the animal disease if they are faced with.

“In PNG we have many small farmers who are farming animals without an animal veterinarian,” he said.

He said the ratio of a vet to animal population in PNG is 1: 3million animals and vet to human is one vet to 500,000 humans. This is very critical and government and stakeholders need to address this to build human capacity.

“Any disease affecting animals in the country will reduce production and income, be unsafe for human consumption and some diseases can even cross over to human beings,” he said.

He said farmers have a responsibility to report to appropriate institutions like National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA) if they see animals suffering from any kinds of disease but stressed that farmers should not approach the media to create alarm.

Mr Maika said PNG is not working in isolation but has good understanding with Australia and other international organisations to carryout surveillance activities in the country.

These international organisations are keyed into supporting animal health concerns across the globe.

This concern was raised by PNG UNRE animal science lecturer Charles Maika recently during his presentation “animal health disease surveillance and its importance in PNG” at a weekly seminar attended by staff and students of the university.

Mr Maika said in the past PNG was isolated and as a result the country was free from some of the diseases that affected the livestock of other countries, but this has now changed.

There is an increase in people’s movement, trade agreements with other countries, high demand for livestock production in the country, and moreover it is difficult to monitor the country’s boarder areas.

“Because of PNG’s location – Indonesia on the west, Solomon Islands on the east and Australia on the south – it is vulnerable to diseases,” Maika explained.

Mr Maika said because of these factors, farmers critically need training and awareness to understand the signs and movement of diseases, whom to report it to and how to deal with the animal disease if they are faced with.

“In PNG we have many small farmers who are farming animals without an animal veterinarian,” he said.

He said the ratio of a vet to animal population in PNG is 1: 3million animals and vet to human is one vet to 500,000 humans. This is very critical and government and stakeholders need to address this to build human capacity.

“Any disease affecting animals in the country will reduce production and income, be unsafe for human consumption and some diseases can even cross over to human beings,” he said.

He said farmers have a responsibility to report to appropriate institutions like National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA) if they see animals suffering from any kinds of disease but stressed that farmers should not approach the media to create alarm.

Mr Maika said PNG is not working in isolation but has good understanding with Australia and other international organisations to carryout surveillance activities in the country.

These international organisations are keyed into supporting animal health concerns across the globe.

 

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