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Minutes of the 60th executive committee meeting and the 25th session of APHCA (Manila, Philippines, 24-26 September 2001) (APHCA 02/3)

Monday, 24 September 2001


The 60th APHCA executive committee meeting was held as an early morning session on 24 September 2001 while the 25th APHCA Session was organized from 24 to 26 September 2001, in Manila, Philippines (detailed timetable appeared in report of the 25th APHCA session).

Representatives from the fifteen APHCA member countries (Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand) attended the session. There were observers from Cambodia, Vietnam, EU Livestock Project in Laos, ILRI, JICA, and OIE (list of participants and observers appeared in report of the 25th APHCA session). Apologies were received from ACIAR, USAID, asian development bank, Australian agricultural section at the Australian embassy in Seoul, and New Zealand government.

Organizational and procedural matters

The opening of the session was presided over by H.E. Mr Cesar M. Drilon, Jr., Under secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA) of the Philippines. Speeches were delivered by Mr Sang Mu Lee, FAO representative in the Philippines; Dr V.K. Taneja, animal commissioner of India/out-going chairperson of APHCA; Dr Henning Steinfeld, chief AGAL; H.E. Mr Cesar M. Drilon who also conveyed the message from HE Leonardo Q. Montemayor, secretary of the DA. Dr V. Atienza, chief of animal disease division of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) introduced individual guests and local organizers. The opening programme was completed by a welcoming address given by Dr Jose Q. Molina, director of the BAI.

Election of new chairperson, vice-chairperson and members of the executive committee

The following members of the APHCA executive committee (for year 2001-2002) were elected:


Jose Q. Molina, delegate from the Philippines


Mohd Nordin Mohd Nor, delegate from Malaysia

Members of the executive committee:

Delegates from Australia, Bhutan, and Thailand

Dr V.K. Taneja, delegate from India was thanked for his two-year contribution to APHCA as its chairperson. He became an ex-officio member to assist the new committee.

The out-going executive committee members, i.e., delegates from Bangladesh, Nepal and Papua New Guinea were thanked for their contribution over the last year.

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda of the 60th executive committee meeting and the 25th session of APHCA was tabled and adopted (details appeared in report of the 25th APHCA session).

Minutes of the 59th executive committee meeting and the 24th session of APHCA

The APHCA secretary briefed the participants on the above (the full minutes appeared in report of the 25th APHCA session). The members accepted the minutes of the previous session without comments.

Presentation of the financial statements of APHCA

The secretary presented the financial report as the follows:


The year 2000-2001 was again a consolidation year for APHCA. Despite limited funds, APHCA was able to run many workshops/conferences with co-funding from our partners. Over the last three years OIE has co-funded workshops coinciding with the annual sessions. This year, OIE will run its own regional meeting in Nepal in November 2001 and can not contribute to this 25th APHCA session. AGAL, AGAH, and AGAP in FAO Headquarters in Rome have supported the two workshops associated with the session. This sponsorship is very important and assured that all members attended the session. (It should be noted that all the 15 APHCA member countries were present at the session for the first time). Countries were reminded that APHCA is an inter-governmental body, and under the articles of agreement singed by the member countries it is the sole responsibility of each individual country to make sure their delegates attend the annual sessions. APHCA will continue to attempt to obtain sponsors for future meetings but member countries are also urged to help by informing their governments of the obligations under the APHCA constitution.

Some issues

APHCA funds to purchase ELISA kits

The use of the APHCA trust fund facility to purchase ELISA rinderpest test kits for India (reported at the 24th APHCA session) was not convenient and not used. The secretary was initially advised by the financial department in Rome in January 1999 that the use of APHCA trust fund would be possible. Later on because of possible difficulties, a more convenient procedure was proposed. Governments can request the FAO-Representative (FAOR) to purchase such kits, providing the approximate costs. The FAOR establishes a unilateral trust fund in which the government deposits the funds to make the purchase. The FAO procurement department then makes the tender to purchase (including delivery and insurance arrangement for the purchase). Any funds remaining in the account after the procurement will be returned to the government. A service charge of 7 percent is charged to cover the administrative costs. This procedure is simpler than trying to use the APHCA trust fund account. This procedure, using the Unilateral Trust Fund (UTF), is now being followed by the government of India.

APHCA communication and information

The APHCA homepage has been updated. A full paper of the APHCA information communication can be found in report of the 25th APHCA session.

APHCA yearly work

APHCA, with co-sponsors, ran a number of workshops and training courses between sessions. Details of these can be found in works performed/achieved during December 2000 to September 2001 and works to be continued and planned during October 2001 and year 2002 appeared in report of the 25th APHCA session.

Some progress has been made on the three long-term proposals presented at the last session. HOPE-A, FMD control unit in South Asia, and ANGRASIA.

By explanation, the HOPE-A programme was a draft initiative endorsed at the 24th annual APHCA session in Bangladesh in November 2000. There is no need for any APHCA country to apply to participate in HOPE-A. The suggested organizational structure was an example only and all interested member countries would be included. The APHCA co-ordination/information unit, a central concept of HOPE-A, would be prepared to play a role in these countries if funds from bilateral projects were given to APHCA to support the HOPE-A co-ordination unit.

Basically HOPE-A is a concept designed to use the regional benefits of APHCA to start to play a coordinating and informational role within the region.

In recent years, the donor community has been moving away from funding regional organization and even international organizations to carry out development projects. The donors prefer to fund their own bilateral projects.

HOPE-A, as mentioned above, is an attempt to recognize this donor trend but to encourage donors to fund the coordination/information function of APHCA.

The next step is to make contacts with existing poultry projects in the region and encourage them to contribute to APHCA.

If funds start to flow into APHCA for HOPE-A work, APHCA members may need to consider using the option of the formation of a sub-commission account within the APHCA trust fund account. However this needs the approval of the FAO director general and the amount of funds needs to be substantial before this would be considered necessary.

Statement on the accounts

General accounts

The APHCA financial statements were presented in FAO’s oracle system format. The summary statement shows the effective cash balance as of January 2001. The actual cash balance is the effective cash balance plus the accumulated interest of US$ 2 6987. Different budget papers for 2001, 2002, and 2003 follow this summary statement. Attempts have been made to estimate FAO’s contributions to the running of APHCA. Budget also includes US$ 20 000 additional contribution received under FAO’s Letter of Agreement (LOA) in year 2001 for the organization of the WTO’s Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) agreement in Chiang Mai, Thailand in year 2002.

The members will need to approve the proposed budgets for the biennium 2002-2003.

Scale of contributions

(The scale of contribution tables can be found in report of the 25th APHCA session.) The members were requested to consider in details and vote on whether APHCA should revert to the pre-1997 procedure of increasing contribution rates by 8 percent per year to keep APHCA viable and up with inflation or stay with the current rates.

The attention of members was drawn to the issue of arrears or non-contributing countries. The arrears, as of 12 June 2001, were US$ 163 000 and represent two years’ contribution by all the member countries. The arrears have been getting progressively worse over the past 10 years. This poses a number of problems:

1. Members that have not paid for the previous two years lose their voting rights under the APHCA constitution.

2. No functional budget can be prepared if contributions are not received. Under the new oracle system, the effective budget for 2002-2003 has been reduced to only US$ 46 000 based on the contributions received. If all countries had paid, the budget would amount to US$ 77 860.

Achieved activities in 2000-2001 and the planned activities towards year 2002

The secretary presented the detailed activities of APHCA which were achieved in the past year and the planned activities towards year 2002.

Special presentations

ILRI, JICA, OIE and EU project in Laos were invited to make their statements.

Hans-Gerhard Wagner, regional animal production officer briefed members on the progress in the preparation for the first report on the state of the world’s animal genetic resources. Countries which have not yet responded to the invitation by the director general of FAO should do so, and undertake the necessary steps in-country for the preparation of the country reports. A training course will be held in Bangkok to facilitate the task (26 November - 2 December 2001).

Henning Steinfeld briefed members about the Area-Wide Integration (AWI) of crop and livestock activities in selected Asian countries including important outcomes of the recent AWI workshop, which was organized in Bangkok, Thailand during 17-20 September 2001.

The secretary presented the emerging livestock diseases in asia together with Matta Abd. Rahman, deputy director general of the department of veterinary services (DVS) of Malaysia.

The secretary notified that, during the past seven years, three new zoonotic paramyxoviruses have caused diseases to humans in the region. The first and the second paramyxoviruses occurred in Australia as the Hendra and Menangle viruses. The third one is nipah virus, which occurred in Malaysia and Singapore. It is imperative that every country must establish system for disease surveillance and response. Four strategies to control these emergent diseases were suggested, which include strengthening of existing surveillance system, and enhancing the capabilities of government agencies and disease control networks, developing of simpler, more cost-effective procedures in determining the disease, and interdisciplinary research to support in the control and prevention of the said diseases in the region.

Matta Abd. Rahman reported on the activities and consequences of the recent nipah virus infection in Malaysia. He stressed that the outbreak has taught the country the importance of preparedness and management in disease emergency, preparation of an early warning system, laboratory competency, continuous effort for the implementation of programmes for both active and passive surveillance systems, and the need for international collaboration. (The original paper “Overview of nipah virus infection in peninsular Malaysia”, which was authored by Dato’ Mohd Nordin bin Mohd Nor, director general of DVS, and published by OIE. (full paper appeared in report of the 25th APHCA session.)

Dirk Van Aken completed the first day with the component strategies that the EU livestock project in Laos has undertaken, which include legislation, information systems, laboratory, extension services, regional coordination, information dissemination, and management of diseases.

Tuesday, 25 September 2001

(Presentations of the workshops were made as per the timetable.)

The morning session:

Regional workshop on preparing for and managing disease emergency

(The papers presented appeared in report of the 25th APHCA session.)

Highlights of the presentations

Roger Paskin, FAO Headquarters’ animal health officer stressed that a quick response to disease emergencies is critical in reducing the damage to animals and humans. Four key elements in ensuring that any response to a disease emergency is timely and adequate are: 1) an effective national veterinary service, 2) effective early warning system, 3) contingency plan, and 4) early reaction capability [i.e. adequate training in management of diseases, logistic support, and updating of plan] to implement them efficiently. He also made a brief presentation on the TADinfo epidemiology database system and outlined its future development. Thereafter, he introduced the GEMP (Good Emergency Management Practices) CD.

Carolyn Benigno, head of FMD task force in the Philippines discussed the measures undertaken to control the foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the country. Measures have anchored on four strategies consisting of: 1) disease monitoring and surveillance, 2) public awareness, 3) animal movement management (quarantine), and 4) vaccination. The importance of a national control programme was stressed (which was delegated to the bureau of animal industry through an executive order from the president), the funding support provided by AusAID, administration of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and management made by the Philippine government to control the epidemic in selected areas in the country. Mindanao, the second largest island group in the Philippines, is currently considered by OIE as an FMD-free recognized zone, the visayas group as FMD-free zone, the northern regions for Luzon as a protected zone, central Luzon as the control or endemic zone, and southern Luzon as a buffer zone.

Mohammad Afzal, Head, sciences division of Pakistan agricultural research council presented the status of rinderpest in Pakistan. Rinderpest outbreaks in 80s and 90s were reviewed. The last outbreak of rinderpest was seen in Karachi, in September 2000, involving 6 out of 102 animals. However, no mortality was observed. The morbid animals were culled and ring vaccination controlled the disease. No active case of rinderpest has been seen since then. Sero-surveillance revealed no antibody against rinderpest in 940 samples collected from 4 districts of Balochistan. Sero-surveillance in other areas is being carried out.

The afternoon session:

The regional workshop on buffalo development

(The workshop papers appeared in report of the 25th APHCA session.)

Highlights of the presentation

Professor Charan Chantalakhana of Suwanvajokkasikit animal research and development institute, Kasetsart university of Thailand, stressed that the creation of appropriate socio-economic policies is necessary to reverse the decline of buffaloes and for the sustainable development in Asia. Most countries in Asia have biased understanding on buffalo production, although buffalo is an Asian species. Model village of mixed crop-animal farming system will improve small farm production of buffaloes at the grassroots level.

Prof. Charan reviewed the situation of buffalo production in Asia based on the conclusion and recommendations of the regional workshop on water buffalo development held in Surin, Thailand, in February 2001. The dramatic decline of buffalo numbers in some countries is worrying. The importance and the values of the buffaloes for the small holders and for food security were stressed. Governments are encouraged to undertake necessary steps to alleviate their decline. The speaker introduced the following project ideas:

- Formulation of effective strategies to stop declining growth rates of buffalo populations in some Asian countries;

- Improving buffalo productivity through performance recording schemes;

- Increasing buffalo production and utilization in mixed farming systems at small holder level;

- Buffalo recording and the possible role(s) of APHCA

The proposals were supplemented by the presentation of Hans-Gerhard Wagner introducing the subject of animal identification and “Traceability”. The key importance of animal identification for health and epidemiology issues, breeding and performance recording, and for trade issue (WTO’s SPS) was stressed. Countries supported the proposal for APHCA Secretariat to undertaken the necessary steps for standardization and harmonization of identification and recording schemes fully involving member countries and other stakeholders (ABA, AAAP, etc.).

Douglas Grey made a brief presentation on CGIAR’s work in the field of animal genetic resources.

Libertado C. Cruz, executive director of the Philippines Carabao center completed the afternoon workshop by reviewing the activities of the center and the status of carabao development in the country.

Wednesday, 26 September 2001

The morning session:

A field trip to the foodsphere factory and a carabao farm.

(The APHCA business session continued in the afternoon)

The secretary drew the attention of the members to miscellaneous papers in the working papers handouts. These were the IT communication (APHCA homepage) and the small-scale meat processing house model (now under the royal project of H.M. the queen of Thailand), which can be replicated in other APHCA member countries.

The secretary then raised the following issues for discussion and possible vote.

Issue 1 - Unspent interest of US$ 26 987

The advice regarding the use of APHCA’s accumulated interest received from the financial department in FAO HQ was that as a courtesy this issue could be raised at the APHCA session and the permission to use the interest obtained from the members. Members discussed this and approved to spend the interest earned on APHCA’s forthcoming activities.

Issue 2 - The inflation index was mentioned in the financial statement on Monday, 24 September 2001. This issue was further explained, discussed and voted on.

The delegate from Malaysia proposed the increase of the 8% inflation and this was approved by the members. The secretary was requested to notify concerned authorities in Rome and request them to inform the member countries on this increase.

The over-all financial statement was approved by the members.

The secretary was requested to contact and request the finance department in FAO Headquarters to issue official reminders for contribution in early of each year (January - February) and the APHCA secretariat in Bangkok immediately copy these reminders to all the APHCA delegates to help follow-up, in order that the member governments can manage for payment of contribution fee.

Issue 3 - Theme for the next year’s APHCA session

The three proposals received from the previous APHCA session in Bangladesh in 2000 and not yet addressed were:

- Unmonitored movement of animals (livestock movement management)

- Improving livestock productivity

- Present and future veterinary services for the region

(The secretary had requested on Monday, 24 September 2001 that members consider these proposals.)

New proposals from this APHCA session are: - 1) Help in the control of PPR (proposed by the delegate from Iran and supported by others), and 2) Standard recording system for the region (outlined in the concept note submitted by Hans Wagner was placed before members).

Discussions were made by members and the priorities were given to: - 1) Animal recording system, and 2) Livestock movement management. The chairperson requested the APHCA secretariat to follow-up on this matter.

Issue 4 - A suggestion for future buffalo development project was received.

One of the project activities should cover the active promotion campaign to improve the image of buffalo meat to the public. Future strategy for buffalo development in South-east Asia is how to convert the role of swamp buffaloes from draught to meat animals. Member governments do have to accept the role of swamp buffaloes as draught animals in diminishing further in all countries in Asia; and thus, the different role, e.g. buffaloes as meat animals should be promoted actively by governments, producer organizations, FAO/APHCA, ABA, etc.

Buffalo beef could be promoted in many ways:

- Improve the image of buffalo beef (meat from “retired” animals, cheap but so tough to eat) by actively promoting beef buffalo industry (young animals to be slaughtered for meat purpose only)

- Healthy meat (low cholesterol)

- Low production cost, attractive for small farmers

This campaign should create the incentive for rural small holders to raise more buffaloes so that they can generate higher income in their village conditions.

The subject was discussed and delegates from Bangladesh, India, Iran and Malaysia indicated their interest to join in a regional buffalo project. The secretary informed the members of the nature of a regional TCP project to be funded by FAO which normally involves three countries in a region but he will explore the possibility to cover more countries; - perhaps two TCPs including the two main regions - South Asia where milk is a dominant product and South-east Asia where meat is the dominant product besides the important draught power provided to the crop agriculture.

Issue 5 - Asian buffalo ssociation (ABA).

(Request to use the APHCA secretariat as the ABA secretariat) The secretary briefed the members about the history and background of the ABA. There was an urgent need for the association to have a permanent address as its Secretariat. It was suggested that it could be “care of” APHCA. Essentially, it was just a mailing address and did not incur any financial or legal responsibilities. The members approved of this.

Issue 6 - New members

There has been a request from delegate from Papua New Guinea that since many South Pacific Countries (SPC) are part of FAO, they should be invited to join APHCA. In particular, the South Pacific Commission should be invited, as the first step, to participate as an observer at the Session.

Costs of getting delegates to sessions from some of the smaller Pacific island countries could be substantial. A suggestion was that if they could not get support from their own countries (a legal requirement under the APHCA constitution), it might be possible that one country could attend and represent the interest of the others, or possibly the SPC could play this role.

The members approved and the secretary will issue invitations to the South Pacific countries to join APHCA and invite the SPC to attend the next APHCA Session as an observer.


- APHCA has commissioned an expert to draft a nipah virus diagnostic manual and this manual should be available in due time.

- HOPE-A project outlines shall be continued to be produced. Some HOPE-A draft project outlines have been produced for a number of countries. These countries include Bhutan, Indonesia and Myanmar. The Bhutan draft can be found in report of the 25th APHCA session. Countries wishing to use these outlines to seek bilateral funding are welcome to use them.

- The EC was approached and requested to fund the HOPE-A formulations.

- Handouts: Apart from the working papers, all members should have received in their bags:

- Manual on the use of the LP system in milk handling and preservation CD ROM, livestock and environmental toolbox

- Guidelines for humane handling, transport and slaughter of livestock

- The second Ad-hoc Session of international stakeholders in animal genetic resources

- OIE report of the regional seminar on nipah virus infection

- The global strategy for the management of farm animal genetic resources

- DADIS leaflets

- Preparation of the first report on the state of the world animal genetic resources

- Water buffalo for food security and sustainable rural development - workshop proceedings

- Waicent (FAO statistical databases) leaflets

- Farm, their animals and the environment CD

- Water buffalo - “An asset undervalued” - leaflets

Additional handouts were produced during the session which included TAD INFO training CD, and GEMP-EMPRES principles CD.

Venue and dates of the 61st executive committee meeting and the 26th session

An offer to host the next APHCA session was made by the delegate of Malaysia, Matta Abd Rahman. The tentative venue will be in Kuala Lumpur and the APHCA session may be organized immediately prior to the meeting of the Federation of the Asian Veterinary Associations (FAVA) in September 2002. Tentative dates shall be provided.

The secretary suggested the integration of the APHCA session and the FAVA meeting in order to shorten the period that the APHCA delegates may find it difficult to stay due to their heavy workload in their respective countries. Non-FAVA member countries would be invited as observers at the FAVA meeting. The secretary was requested to write to concerned Malaysian authorities re this matter to get the official approval.

Other business

OIE and FAO-APHCA, in collaboration with the Department of Livestock Development of Thailand (DLD), accepted in principle to co-organize a regional workshop on BSE diagnosis in NIAH Bangkok in November 2001 for some selected APHCA member countries. The secretary clarified to members (requested by the delegate from India) the criteria for selection of participants to the workshop.

The main determinant was the limited funds available. Then the co-organizers looked into the list of the first ten countries at risk of BSE, being the importers of meat and bone meal (MBM) from the BSE-infected countries in Europe. Two trainees from each country (the first participant shall be a person who works in histo-pathology and the second in molecular ELISA laboratory) will be invited to the workshop. The conditions are that the governments pay for international airfares while APHCA and OIE provide experts at the workshop as well as some pocket money for participants, and DLD covers the local logistic costs.

The 25th session of APHCA endorsed the concluding statements and recommendations of both workshops: the FAO-APHCA regional workshop on preparing for and managing disease emergency, and the FAO-APHCA regional workshop on buffalo development in Asia (25 September 2001). The final statements from these workshops will be included as report of the 25th APHCA session.

Hans Wagner informed the members that the regional training workshop for the preparation of country reports for the first state of the world’s animal genetic resources planned to be held in India was cancelled. Countries will now join the workshop which will be organized in Bangkok, Thailand, during 25 November - 2 December 2002. The official invitations will be issued in due course.

Proposed agenda for the next executive committee meeting and APHCA session

The provisional agenda for the 61st executive committee meeting and the 26th session of APHCA was circulated to all members. The chairperson informed that amendments to the proposed agenda should be forwarded to the Secretary at the FAO regional office in Bangkok.

The provisional agenda was proposed for approval by the delegate from Australia and was seconded by the delegate from Pakistan.

Adoption of the minutes

The commission adopted the minutes of the 25th APHCA session.

Closing of the session

The chairperson expressed his gratitude to all delegates and observers for their full co-operation and contribution to the 60th executive committee meeting and the 25th session of APHCA, the FAO-APHCA regional workshop on preparing for and managing disease emergency, and the FAO-APHCA regional workshop on buffalo development in Asia. He sincerely thanked his colleagues in the organizing committee and other concerned authorities for the excellent arrangements, hospitality, and hard work that 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 secretary expressed his gratitude to all APHCA delegates, observers, his FAO colleagues, and especially the organizing committee, and the government of the Philippines for their full support and assistance towards the successful session. The secretary was impressed with the book “25th year of APHCA”. The various sponsors for lunches and dinners were also thanked for their kind hospitality. The full list of participants, observers and sponsors can be found in Report of the 25th APHCA Session. The secretary indicated that he would be in contact with everyone during the upcoming years to keep the initiatives discussed at this Session alive and to further the co-ordinated efforts of APHCA. E-mail and other IT systems being developed by APHCA would be the vehicle for the APHCA Secretariat to communicate with the members. He wished everyone a safe trip home.

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