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4. APHCA: 00/3 - Minutes of the Fifty-Eighth Executive Committee Meeting and the Twenty-Third Session of APHCA

(Kochi (Cochin), India, 4-6 September 1999)

I. Introduction

The Fifty-Eighth APHCA Executive Committee Meeting was held as an early morning session on 4 September 1999 whilst the Twenty-Third APHCA Session was organized during 4-6 September 1999, in Kochi, India, respectively (detailed timetable appears in the working paper - APHCA: 99/1 of the 23rd session report).

Representations from thirteen APHCA member countries (Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand) attended the Session. There were observers from Bhutan, Cambodia, Republic of Korea, ACIAR, IAEA, ILRI, JICA, and OIE (list of participants and observers appears in working paper - APHCA: 99/10 of the 23rd session report).

At the combined opening ceremony for the 58th Executive Committee Meeting and the 23rd Session of APHCA, the FAO-APHCA-EMPRES-OIE Regional Workshop on Animal Disease Contingency Planning (4-6 September 1999), and the OIE-APHCA Regional Workshop on Animal Disease Risk Analysis (7-9 September 1999), a welcoming address was given by Dr. V.K. Taneja, Animal Husbandry Commissioner, Government of India on behalf of the Organizing Committee. This was followed by an introductory address by Dr. Samuel C. Jutzi, Director of the Animal Production and Health Division (AGA), FAO Rome. Mr. Peter Rosenegger, FAO Representative in India and Bhutan delivered a welcoming address on behalf of FAO, whilst Dr. Y. Ozawa, Regional Representative of the OIE Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific made a short address on behalf of the OIE. The presidential address was given by Dr. S.S.E. Ranawana, Director, Department of Animal Production and Health of Sri Lanka and Chairman of APHCA. Honourable Mr. E. Chandrasekharan Nair, Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Animal Husbandry, gave the inaugural speech on behalf of the Government of Kerala. Traditional lamp lighting by the chief guests and the Vote of Thanks by Dr. W.R. Reddy, Dairy Development Commissioner, Government of Kerala completed the opening function. (The full opening addresses appear as APHCA: 99/11 of the 23rd session report).

II. Organizational and Procedural Matters

Adoption of the Agenda (APHCA: 99/1)

The Agenda of the Fifty-Eighth Executive Committee Meeting and the Twenty-Third Session of APHCA was adopted (details appear in APHCA: 99/1 of the 23rd session report).

Election of New Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Members of the Executive Committee

The following APHCA Executive Officials were elected: -

· Chairman:

Dr. V.K. Taneja, Delegate from India

· Vice-Chairman:

Dr. Teodoro A. Abilay, Delegate from the Philippines

· Members of the Executive Committee:

Delegates from Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Thailand

· Ex-Officio Executive Member:

Immediate Ex-Chairman of APHCA/Delegate from Sri Lanka

Minutes of the Fifty-Sixth Executive Committee Meeting and the Twenty-Second Session, Minutes of the Fifty-Seventh Executive Committee Meeting, and Questionnaire on APHCA Activities (APHCA: 99/3)

The APHCA Secretary briefed the Participants on the above Minutes and Questionnaire (full Minutes appear in APHCA: 99/3).

Presentation of the Financial Statements of APHCA (APHCA: 99/4 of the 23rd session report)

The Secretary brought the following financial statements/document to the attention of the members:

- The audited cash balance of the APHCA Trust Fund. As at 1st January 1999, the figure was US$100,173 on contrary to the negative balance shown in 1997 (-US$11,606 as at 1st January 1997). He further explained that the conservative manner in spending APHCA money and the prudent use of limited FAO funds in the past two years to assist APHCA activities have contributed to a speedy revitalisation of the Trust Fund account.

- The Status of Contribution in 1999. The Secretary mentioned that the figures appeared therein might not reflect the actual current figures, as some members may have paid their contribution for 1999 but the figures have not been updated. This delay may be due to the recent replacement of FINSYS by ORACLE as the financial operating system within FAO.

- The FAO/APHCA Budget for 1999. The Secretary reported that the actual expenditure from the 1999 Trust Fund budget, as of 27 August 1999, is US$21,119 against the approved budget of US$75,900. Again showing a conservative approach.

- The Secretary concluded that APHCA (now having a reserved fund of more than the current one-year’s full membership contribution of US$75,900), could be more pro-active on its activities in the future. The Commission can now safely spend (per year) its Trust Fund money as much as the total approved budget (which is equivalent to the yearly contribution), not worrying about over spending.

APHCA Activities in 1999 (APHCA: 99/5 of the 23rd session report)

The Secretary informed all participants of the activities completed in 1999 and those that will be organized towards the end of this year.

Programme of Work and Budget for 2000-2001

The Secretary and Dr. Samuel C. Jutzi, Director of AGA informed all participants of the changes in FAO/AGA’s Activities for the years 2000-2001. The old programming structure had been changed. The new activities will be presented to the FAO Finance Council in November 1999 and APHCA may wish to use these activity outlines as a guide to classify its own activities. The updated outlines of FAO/AGA activities can be used to formulate APHCA’s next biennial programme of work (details of the updated activity outlines appear as APHCA: 99/6 of the 23rd session report).

The estimated budget sheets for years 2000 and 2001 were made for use as a guideline. The Secretary requested all members to consider the Programme of Work and if this was reflected in the budget lines. The total amount of US$75,900 is divided into different budget lines to allow the work to be carried out.

The draft activities for 2000 and 2001 were presented and the Secretary requested more detailed inputs from the members about what they want APHCA to do in the future. The subject will be further discussed on 6 September 1999.

Country Paper Presentations (detailed papers appear in APHCA: 99/7 of the 23rd session report)

The Secretary explained that the new changes/modifications in this year’s country papers were in line with the members’ wishes to diversify the outputs of the country papers. The papers although short (10-15 minutes’ presentation each) were on the “Feed Milling Industry” and were designed to answer specific questions about the industry in each of the member countries. The main reason for this was to avoid the conventional elaborated (often repetitive) presentations on livestock production and health which had been practised for more than 20 years, and to touch on subjects related to animal production and health of topical and current interest. The papers that were received were excellent and represented a valuable contribution to understanding the industry in the region.

The Secretary also requested members to think about a possible “theme” for the next Session’s country reports. Further discussion would be delayed until 6 September 1999.

After the country paper presentations, the Director of AGA - Dr. Samuel Jutzi was asked to give his impression on the presentations. He said the papers were informative and were well presented and contained valuable information. He noted the following: -

- The role of the government authorities in the feed industry appeared to be minimal in most countries and involved only those issues that related to quality of the product and protection of the public. This has been a legitimate role of government.

- The major driving force in the feed industry in almost all countries has been the poultry sector and this is a surprise to him and essential information for future planning.

- He is optimistic on a quick recovery from the Asian economic crisis (which had an impact on the feed industry in some countries) and that the industry has a good potential for future growth. He noted that the environment problems in the feed industry were less than what he had expected and involved mainly concerns for the workers in the industry from dust produced during mixing of feed components.

Dr. V.K. Taneja, Chairman of APHCA, pinpointed the main issues that came out of the papers and might require further discussion in the future. There are: -
- Price volatility/exchange rate fluctuations
- Quality control
- Environmental aspect
- Impact of GATT/trade implications
- Production systems/transformation changes
- Research supports
- Alternative feeds
- Legal aspects
- Conservation of feed resources
Dr. C. Devendra, observer from ILRI, commented that he also enjoyed the papers and while it was impossible to cover everything in the short time allowed he suggested that other important issues that might need to be considered were issues such as substitution, adoption, self reliance, partition of use, type of production system, and research and development.

After the country papers, short presentations on current activities in the APHCA member countries of ACIAR, IAEA (presented on 5 September 1999), ILRI, JICA and OIE were made.

FAO-APHCA-EMPRES-OIE Regional Workshop on Animal Disease Contingency Planning (APHCA: 99/8)

The FAO-APHCA-EMPRES-OIE Regional Workshop on Animal Disease Contingency Planning was incorporated together with the 23rd APHCA Session and was organized on 5 September 1999. The detailed papers presented during this Workshop appear in the Proceedings of the FAO-APHCA-EMPRES-OIE Regional Workshop on Animal Disease Contingency Planning (the Annexure of the Report of the 23rd Session of APHCA).

Dr. Mark Rweyemamu excellently chaired the Workshop session. Also during this session, follow-up reports were received from those countries that had met in Kandy in February 1999 on their status re the OIE pathway for “Rinderpest Declaration of Freedom”. These papers also appear in APHCA: 99/8 (separated from this Session Report as the Proceedings of the FAO-APHCA-EMPRES-OIE Regional Workshop on Animal Disease Contingency Planning). Dr. Roger Paskin gave a good presentation on the new TADInfo database developed by the FAO-EMPRES programme and explained how members could obtain a free copy. Dr. Geoff Gard gave a quick presentation to members about the recent outbreaks of Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease over the last 2 years in Australia and Dr. Gan from Malaysia informed members about the Nipah Virus outbreak in his country. In general discussion, issues such as emergency funds to help countries, fast response team and the difficulties of getting a good diagnosis were raised.

The Summarized Conclusion and Recommendations on Rinderpest Situation were:

Latest available evidence would suggest that there are only three foci of rinderpest virus activity in the world, i.e., in Somalia, Pakistan/Afghanistan and Southern Sudan. Efforts to remove these foci were in progress. Each area was unique and requires different approaches. Some of the techniques used are making use of NGOs who work actively in the region and can deliver veterinary care to livestock, using heat-stable rinderpest vaccine, empowering community involvement, seeking more donor support and relief agency support. There was a general feeling that if these last foci were not removed in the next few years that the risk would be high that rinderpest could re-emerge and all the hard work and expenses put into the effort to globally eradicate rinderpest would be all invain.

Dr. Y. Ozawa expressed his opinion that there was a need to get high level support at this final stage. He drew an analogy to the final stages of the eradication of smallpox in man where a concerted effort at a high level was needed before the programme was eventually successful.

The meeting discussed ways to do this and included that FAO should make every effort to get high level support either through conference where Ministers attended or through a concerted media campaign.

John Copland suggested that Dr. Peter Doherty the Nobel Prize winner in Medicine last year was an Australian Veterinarian who could be approached to lobby on behalf of the Programme. Peter was a previous member of the Board of the International Livestock Research Institute and has a keen interest in veterinary matters.

Mark Rweyemamu indicated that a nominee for this year Food Prize was a rinderpest expert and if successful this would lead to an international focus on the problem.

A number of people suggested that politicians and high government officials might be more active in obtaining the support for the final stages of the campaign if they had convincing economic evidence that not doing so would have devastating consequences.

Venue and Dates of the Fifty-Ninth Executive Committee Meeting and the Twenty-Fourth Session of APHCA

Dr. Kazi Abdul Fattah, Director General, Department of Livestock Services of Bangladesh proposed that Dhaka, Bangladesh be the venue for the next Executive Committee Meeting and the Session of APHCA, whilst Dr. Teodoro A. Abilay, Director, Bureau of Animal Industry of the Philippines and Vice-Chairman of APHCA proposed Cebu, or any other cities in the Philippines be the venue.

Majority of the members voted for Bangladesh. The delegate from Bangladesh informed the Session that the best period will be November/December.

It has been noticed that in the year 2000, APHCA will celebrate its 25th birthday as a silver jubilee celebration and special activities should be incorporated. Amongst them, it was suggested that all the former Secretaries of APHCA (Dr. C.P. Pillai (in memory) - Sri Lanka, Dr. B.K. Soni - India, and Dr. M. Sasaki - Japan) be invited as special guests to this special Session.

The Chairman suggested that special activities to commemorate the celebration be organized. One of these may be the special issue of ASIAN LIVESTOCK containing features of APHCA activities from its inception, review of the activities and its achievement in the past 25 years.

Other Business

- The Chairman called for general topic/theme for the next APHCA Session. The delegate from Australia proposed the topics of “Livestock and Livestock Products” or “Livestock Vaccines”. He mentioned that the paper under this theme/topic could be prepared as a 10-15 minutes’ presentation. This should cover how big is the volume, place produced, and export, etc.

- Suggestions raised by members: -

- To allocate/set up contingency or emergency fund from the APHCA annual budget for use upon request from member countries for any urgent services needed.

- To promote use of National Currency Funds to cover local expenses of visitors from other APHCA member countries.

- To consider organizing PPR workshop in India.

- To consider organizing a regional workshop on animal quarantine protocols.

- To work out for strategic planning (for long-term activity of APHCA)

- To examine the implications of trade in livestock and livestock products.

- To put more emphasize on animal/plant genetic resources and resource utilization.

- To strengthen disease information system and the implications of SPS.

- APHCA members endorsed the recommendations from the national co-ordinators of the Animal Genetic Resource Project that APHCA acts as the interim regional focal point for this project so that it is not left without leadership/supervision. APHCA members directed the Secretary to seek the additional resources from FAO such as office space and files to continue this important project/activity.

- The delegate from Sri Lanka raised the point how was APHCA going to encourage and support the use of electronic communication. The answer was that APHCA was following the consultant report and going step-by-step. The first step, setting up of homepage and servers, has been completed. The next step is to employ someone to run a moderated electronic conference and this would be investigated if funds are available.

- The observer from IAEA pinpointed that the IAEA has available budget to fund workshops but that requests should come from individual APHCA countries to their technical training division, i.e., bottom-up. He urged APHCA members to apply.

Proposed Agenda for the Next Session

The Provisional Agenda for the Fifty-Ninth Executive Committee Meeting and the Twenty-Fourth Session of APHCA was circulated to members (APHCA: 99/9 of the 23rd session report). The Chairman informed that amendments of the proposed agenda should be forwarded to the Secretary in FAO Regional Office in Bangkok.

III. Adoption of Report

The Commission adopted the 23rd Session Report.

IV. Closing of the Session

The APHCA Chairman expressed his gratitude to all delegates and observers for their full co-operation and contribution to the 58th APHCA Executive Committee Meeting, the 23rd APHCA Session, and the FAO-APHCA-EMPRES-OIE Regional Workshop on Animal Diseases Contingency Planning. He sincerely thanked Dr. W.R. Reddy, Dairy Development Commissioner, Government of Kerala and all his colleagues in the Organizing Committee for the excellent arrangements, hospitality, and hard work which contributed to the success of all the APHCA functions. He also thanked the APHCA Secretariat for their hard work before and during the Session.

The APHCA Secretary expressed his gratefulness to all APHCA delegates, observers, his FAO colleagues, especially the Organizing Committee, the Government of India and the Government of Kerala for their full support and assistance towards the successful Session. The various sponsors for lunches and dinners were also thanked for their kind hospitality. Full list of participants, observers and sponsors can be found in the full report (APHCA: 99/10 of the 23rd session report). He wished everyone a safe trip home.

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