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Minutes of the 62nd and the 63rd Executive Committee Meetings and the 27th Session of APHCA

(Lahore, Pakistan, 25-29 August 2003)

25 August 2003

Meeting of the 62nd Executive Committee:

The meeting was chaired by J.Q. Molina, the delegate from the Philippines.

The agenda and the statement of account were approved for submission to the APHCA session. It was noted that due to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) Dr Nordin could not undertake his review mission as scheduled and therefore could not present his findings to an early Executive Committee meeting before submission to the APHCA session as planned. It was agreed that he will present his findings in the business session and the matter will be picked up again on Thursday giving the delegates the opportunity to discuss the issues further.

Opening ceremony

The opening session was presided over by the honorable Minister of State for Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Government of Pakistan. The session was attended by representatives from a number of local institutes and government offices, observers from Office International des Epizooties (OIE) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and delegates from all the APHCA countries except for Australia and Papua New Guinea. Dr Molina, Chairperson of APHCA, welcomed the participants on behalf of APHCA and R.H. Raja, Animal Husbandry Commissioner, on behalf of the Government of Pakistan. J. Lubroth, Senior Animal Health Officer/EMPRES, transmitted greetings from FAO. The opening address was given by the Minister. The Minister handed a souvenir to the delegates and the participants.

APHCA business session

1. Dr Molina again welcomed the delegates and observers (Office International des Epizooties - OIE, the OIE Southeast Asia Foot and Mouth Disease Campaign - OIE-SEAFMD, Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture of the International Atomic Energy Agency - AGE-IAEA and FAO headquarters). Apologies had been received from International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Australian Center for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR).

2. The Agenda was adopted.

The delegate from India proposed the delegate from Pakistan, Dr Raja, as the new Chairperson. The motion was seconded by the delegates from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Dr Raja accepted the nomination and thanked the delegates for the confidence given to him. He also expressed his appreciation to Dr Molina for the work he has done as Chairperson during the last two years. The delegate from Thailand proposed the delegate from Indonesia as Vice-Chairperson. The motion was seconded by Malaysia and Sri Lanka. The delegates from India, Nepal and Thailand were proposed as members of the Executive Committee. The motion was seconded by Bangladesh, Bhutan and Indonesia.

The Executive Committee is now as follows:


Dr Rafaqat Hussain Raja, Pakistan


Delgate from Indonesia


Delegates from India, Nepal, and Thailand


Dr Jose Q. Molina, Philippines

3. The minutes of the 61st Executive Committee and 26th APHCA Session were reviewed and approved by the delegates.

4. Statement of accounts

H. Wagner presented the status of the APHCA accounts for 2002 and status of expenditures for 2003. The approved budget for 2002 was US$46 850. The expenditures amount to US$28 952. During 2001 APHCA signed a Letter of Agreement (LoA) with FAO for over US$20 000 to support a workshop and training course in 2002. In 2002 FAO settled the LoA with payment into the APHCA Trust Fund Account. In 2003 it was discovered that APHCA is not eligible for LoAs and there was the threat that the funds might have to be returned. (The case is not yet closed and the APHCA Secretariat is working out so that the funds will not have to be returned.) This threat had influenced expenditures in 2003 which as of June 2003 amounted to US$10 835 only, with an approved budget of US$100 598. Activities in connection with training in July 2003 and the APHCA Session in August are not yet accounted for. The budget for 2004 has been approved but the Session may propose changes in the light of possible activities and priorities to strengthen APHCA. The financial situation of APHCA has improved as countries pay annual contributions and arrears. At present only two countries have arrears of more than two years contributions. The cash balance without interest as of 01 January 2003 is US$257 203. The statement of accounts for the year 2002 was approved.

5. Report of activities

H. Wagner presented the activities conducted by APHCA and the Livestock Section of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) during 2002/3 irrespective of the source of funding.

J. Crowther (IAEA) indicated that a mechanism be established whereby activities of the joint division AGE and IAEA in the livestock sector would be part of the activity report.

Specific issues requiring more feedback by delegates were addressed in more detail as follows:

A. Animal identification and traceability

H. Wagner stated that this activity has been an issue for the past two APHCA meetings. A Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) proposal has been finalized and countries have been requested to provide letters of support (a requirement by the FAO TCP department). Only five replies out of which three were eligible have been received. The appraisal by FAO of the draft was positive but clarification was requested on two issues. Countries were requested to respond to these queries but so far only a limited response has been received.

After discussion, countries recognized the need to develop standards and guidelines for a harmonized identification, traceability and movement control scheme. The document will be sent again to all countries and delegates agreed to send comments and supporting letters by 30 October 2003.

B. Pro-poor livestock policy facility (PPLPF)

H. Wagner reported on an initiative by FAO headquarters, supported by RAP, to review and improve livestock policy formulation that would impact greatly on poverty reduction. Livestock is considered an important entry point. Formulating effective livestock policies which would benefit the poor is an the issue which fits into APHCA’s mandate.

The discussion centered on the need to undertake several studies in different areas where the poor have a stake and that lessons from these studies serve as the basis for a policy framework.

C. Livestock waste management

H. Wagner presented the Global Environmental Facility-Project Development Fund B (GEF-PDF-B) project which at present includes China, Thailand and Viet Nam only. However, the issue could be of interest to other countries in the region where the uncontrolled expansion of intensive and industrialized livestock production cause a threat to the environment and threatens the existence of small-scale farmers and their livelihoods.

The delegate from Pakistan indicated that problems are not only in the pig and poultry sector but also in the dairy sector where large units mushroom around big cities. The delegates recommended the Secretariat to contact LEAD (Livestock Environment and Development Group at FAO headquarters) and investigate the possibility of undertaking preliminary studies in the South Asian region.

D. First Report on the State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources

H. Wagner briefed the delegates on the status of country report preparations. Most of the countries have submitted first drafts of the report. An Asia regional workshop will be held later in the year to finalize these reports and to develop priority actions. It was also stressed that the Intergovernmental Working Group on Animal Genetic Resources will meet in Rome in early 2004. The APHCA member countries India and Thailand are members of the Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITWG-AnGR). They should not miss this opportunity to present and represent Asia’s issues and views. The delegate from India requested the Secretariat to be more proactive. It was also proposed that the APHCA Chairperson represent APHCA countries at the ITWG-AnGR in 2004.

E. Regional approaches to livestock disease control in the Greater Mekong Subregion - ADB concept note

S. Morzaria briefed the meeting on the progress of the concept note submitted to Asian Development Bank (ADB). The lead institute for the proposal is the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi, Kenya. The proposal focuses on targeting poor livestock farmers in the Greater Mekong subregion and aims to alleviate poverty and promote market opportunities. Improvement of animal health has been identified as a means of increasing productivity in livestock, leading to greater income for farmers. The proposal has a budget of US$5 million to support activities over a period of six years. The proposed project will have several phases; the first phase will aim to examine the zoning approach to the control of foot and mouth diseases. A number of collaborators have been identified that include the GMS countries, EU, IFAD, OIE and FAO.

F. SARS - FAO’s involvement

S. Morzaria briefed the participants on FAO’s involvement in the efforts to control a newly emerged zoonotic disease referred to as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). He reported that SARS is a classic example of an emerging disease which has caused severe economic losses in many countries. Preliminary estimates show that in Southeast Asia the losses have exceeded US$30 billion. Collaborative research has helped towards the identification of the SARS virus, which is a new corona virus (SARS CoV). FAO is now collaborating with other international organizations (WHO and OIE) and Chinese authorities from the health and agriculture ministries to investigate the role of wild animals in the origin and transmission of the virus. At the moment, there is limited data regarding the role of wild animals as a source of the infection. Limited experimental studies show that domesticates animals are unlikely to play a role in the transmission of SARS CoV. Without a complete understanding of the natural history of the disease, re-emergence would be likely without continued intervention.

G. WTO’s Sanitary Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement, veterinary public health and food safety

V. Songkitti presented the activities conducted on WTO’s SPS agreement, veterinary public health and food safety. The activities were mostly on capacity building focused on risk analysis, BSE diagnosis and surveillance. These activities were jointly undertaken by FAO and OIE with assistance from the Department of Livestock Development (DLD), Thailand, Chiang Mai University and Japan Livestock Technology Association (JLTA). V. Songkitti also announced that the new Regional Veterinary Public Health Center will be established at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Chiang Mai University, Thailand with technical assistance from the Free University of Berlin and the Institute of Meat Hygiene, Meat Technology and Food Hygiene, University for Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria. A Master of Science Degree Programme in Veterinary Public Health for countries in Southeast Asia will be implemented as a joint degree programme between the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chiang Mai University (FVM-CMU) and the Free University of Berlin (FUB). The delegates requested the Secretariat to explore expansion of the activity to South Asia.

H. Food and feed safety note

C. Benigno presented a note on food and feed safety as an offshoot of the workshop held during the 26th APHCA Session in Malaysia in 2002. The workshop, chaired by Andrew Speedy of FAO headquarters, came up with a list of recommendations. Based on these recommendations, a roadmap of activities was proposed for the member countries and the Commission to come up with a clear food and feed safety program for the regions, which would be at par with current international practices. Countries were requested to answer the questionnaire and to submit it on or before 15 October 2003. The data gathered therein would be analyzed and possible areas of regional cooperation would then be explored. The recommendations and questionnaire appear as Annex 2003/06 (page 63-65). The delegates requested the Secretariat to undertake appropriate action on the issue.

6. APHCA review and future work plan

Dr Nordin presented the study conducted on the review of APHCA activities. The results of the review focused on

1. the organizational and administrative structure

2. strengthening the planning process

3. identification of major technical programmes for which APHCA has a comparative advantage and ensuring relevant activities

4. dissemination of information to member countries

5. re-activation of the National Currency Fund

Member countries stressed the important role which APHCA has played in the past and the role it could play in the future.

Member countries recognized the need to review and strengthen the organizational structure and procedures. The advantage of secretarial activities being supported by FAO is recognized. The total annual contribution from member countries amounting to US$ 84 000 is too small to run a bigger Secretariat or to support a major programme. Therefore donor support needs to be sought.

The Chairperson has to be given more prominence and involvement, i.e. in representing APHCA to the outside, in meetings and with donors.

The need for a strategic long-term technical programme was recognized. The ways and means for the identification of priority activities was discussed but not concluded. Delegates agreed to resume discussion on the topic when the Business Session resumed on Thursday, 28 August 2003.

The Chairperson thanked the delegates for their active participation and adjourned the Business Session to Thursday, 28 August 2003 at 14.00 hours.

28 August 2003

The Chairperson reconvened the session with the review of APHCA on Thursday 29 August 2003 at 14.30 hours and requested H. Wagner to present the findings of the Excom meeting which took place on Wednesday, 28 August 2003. With regard to organizational issues the following was recommended by the Excom and approved by the delegates:

During the discussion on training issues J. Lubroth informed the session about the FAO visiting scientist programme and J. Crowther about training opportunities in IAEA. It was recommended that the Secretariat:

Priorities for future action

The delegates were presented with a list of activities of FAO headquarters and the RAP Livestock Section which are addressing important issues in the region and which are already ongoing or are in an advanced stage of planning. Delegates were requested to identify possible priority activities or areas.

The delegates discussed the issue and concluded that further discussion is required and that they will respond in the closing session.

The delegates concluded that all proposed projects are of great relevance and merit attention particularly if external support can be obtained. The following areas should receive immediate attention and priority:

South Asian countries will be invited to nominate an expert for a South Asia Working Group of FMD. Pakistan will take the lead in convening the first meetings.

It was agreed that a provisional agenda for the 64th Executive Committee Meeting and the 28th Session of APHCA will be proposed by the Secretariat to the delegates who have been invited to the forthcoming BSE Workshop in Chiang Mai.

The 64th Executive Committee Meeting and the 28th Session of APHCA will be held in Bangkok. Delegates indicated preferred timing as end of August or beginning September 2004.

The meeting was adjourned for adoption of the minutes to Friday, 29 August 2003.

29 August 2003

The meeting resumed on Friday 09.00 hours.

The minutes were approved with amendments.

Other business:

India considered the meeting - APHCA Session plus technical workshop - too long. There is a need to streamline activities and to reduce the time of the meeting. The Secretariat was requested to limit the Session and technical workshop to four days.

Delegates were requested to look into the issue of country reports. Countries were requested to brief annual sessions on important changes/issues in the livestock industry.

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