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Minutes of the 61st Executive Committee Meeting and the 26th Session of APHCA (Subang Jaya, Malaysia, 24-26 August 2002)


Introduction

The APHCA executive committee met informally in early morning on 24 August 2002, while the 26th APHCA session was organized from 24 to 26 August 2002 in Subang Jaya, Malaysia. (the detailed timetable appears in the working paper - APHCA 02/1).

Representatives from fourteen APHCA member countries (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 Viet Nam, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Office International des Epizooties (OIE). Apologies were received from the delegate from Australia and Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

Saturday, 24 August 2002 - Morning programme

Organizational and procedural matters

The opening of the session was presided over by the honourable deputy secretary-general of the ministry of agriculture, Malaysia, Mohd. Zulkifli Rauf. The honourable Dato’ Mohd Nordin Haji Mohd Nor, (director-general, department of veterinary services, Malaysia) delivered his speech along with Andrew Speedy, (FAO animal production and health division) and Jose Q. Molina, (chairperson of APHCA). The programme was completed by a welcoming/opening address given by the honorable Mohd. Zulkifli Rauf (all speeches appear as APHCA 02/11).

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda for the 26th session of APHCA was adopted. The delegate from India proposed the motion and the delegate from Pakistan seconded it (working paper - APHCA 02/1).

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

The delegate from Sri Lanka proposed that the current chairperson from the Philippines for the year 2001/02 be re-elected* in the interest of continuity so as to be able to contribute to the commission for the second term. The delegate from India seconded this proposal.

(* The secretary stated that under the APHCA constitution an election must be carried out to elect a chairperson, a vice chairperson and three members of the executive committee but there is nothing against the re-election of the existing executive members. In view of the fact that a 2-year term of the chairperson and the executive committee members will provide a continuous and efficient contribution towards the commission, he suggested all members to consider this matter favorably.)

The chairperson gracefully accepted the nomination.

The chairperson requested India to continue as ex-officer executive committee member, and this proposal was accepted.

The chairperson proposed Dato’ Mohd. Nordin Haji Mohd. Nor, delegate from Malaysia, be re-elected for a second term as vice chairperson. The delegate from Pakistan seconded this proposal.

The chairperson proposed thatdelegates from Australia, Thailand and Bhutan be considered for a second term as members of the executive committee. However, in view that the Australian delegate was absent from this session, it was suggested that another country be nominated and elected. The delegate from India nominated Pakistan and this was seconded by the delegate from Bhutan.

The delegate from Papua New Guinea suggested that the Australian delegate be contacted after the session regarding the nomination as member of the executive committee for the year 2002/03. The meeting objected to this proposal as a new member (Pakistan) had already been accepted.

The following APHCA executive committee members (for the year 2002/03) were elected:

Chairperson:

Jose Q. Molina, delegate from Philippines

Vice chairperson:

Dato’ Mohd. Nordin Haji Mohd. Nor, delegate from Malaysia

Members of the executive committee:

Delegates from Bhutan, Pakistan and Thailand

Ex-officio member:

Delegate from India

Minutes of the 60th executive committee meeting and the 25th session and minutes of the interim executive committee meeting (APHCA 02/3)

Minutes of the 60th executive committee meeting and the 25th session of APHCA (organized in Manila, Philippines, in September 2001) were accepted with some comments from members. The delegate from India then proposed that the minutes be adopted and the delegates from Papua New Guinea and Pakistan seconded this.

The delegate from India commented on the minutes of the interim executive committee meeting of APHCA (organized in Bangkok, Thailand, in April 2002) that a clarification needs to be given on the type/breed of buffalo in the “TCP proposal on buffalo development”.

H. Wagner clarified that this TCP proposal is specifically for “swamp” (water) buffaloes. The delegate from India then proposed that the statement regarding the type of buffalo be clearly stated in the proposal. The secretary accepted to correct this and to alter the proposal to read “swamp” buffaloes.

Financial statements

Report on APHCA financial status

The secretary stated that account statements were prepared using the FAO’s oracle account system which was advantageous as it projected the updated actual cash balance as of 14 August 2002 and works on an accumulation system, so that total contribution since the inception of APHCA are presented.

The summary financial statements have shown that the commission has a healthy account and this will provide flexibility to the commission to undertake more activities.

The summary statement of APHCA account shows an effective cash balance of US$164 567 (without interests), as of 1 January 2002. The financial records on expenditures and balances as of 21 August 2002 were presented. The proposed APHCA trust fund budget for 2003 and 2004 were tabled and the members were requested to examine and approve these proposed budget proposals on the last day of the Session (26 August 2002). (The full statements can be found in the working paper - APHCA 02/4).

The secretary informed participants that, in view of the fact that many APHCA programmes reflected the FAO’s objectives and regular programme of work, FAO has continuously contributed to implementation of the APHCA programmes financially. This was reflected in a column of the budget tables.

The secretary emphasized that collaboration from other international organizations is necessary and is needed in conducting jointly organized workshops and training programmes, because of the limited resources available to any single organization.

Scale of contributions

The status of contributions as at 21 August 2002 was presented. The secretary mentioned that since the 1997 Asian economic slow down, the contribution rates have been static. These static rates will be maintained for the year 2001 and the members voted at the 25th APHCA session to reintroduce the yearly increase of 8 percent in 2002.

Since the letters calling for contribution in 2002 did not reflect this approved increase, the members would not be asked to increase their contribution rate until 2003. The secretary extended his thanks to member countries for their contributions.

The delegate from India suggested that the available APHCA trust fund be used on the previously proposed/pending programmes from the 24th APHCA session in Dhaka in which a South Asian (SA) FMD concept paper was presented. The Secretary agreed and urged that the members also raise more concrete proposals/revisions on what to do with the APHCA funds and activities.

The delegate from India, supported by Pakistan, proposed that an allotment be made available for a FMD control programme in South Asia (similarly to the Southeast Asian (SEA) FMD programme in the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries). The observer from OIE SEA-FMD Regional Coordination Unit (RCU) briefly provided some details on the SEA-FMD programme in the ASEAN region, while the vice chairperson/delegate from Malaysia informed that the SEA-FMD programme is run by OIE and cautioned that third party funding as given by OIE to ASEAN for FMD control is only temporary. The Indian delegate made the point that the concept paper for FMD control in South Asia had been proposed two years ago at the November 2000 APHCA Session in Dhaka and yet the Commission has made no further development. She suggested that APHCA should examine the minutes of the meeting held last year at FAO Headquarters in November 2001 where a special session was convened on FMD and which examined this issue. Now APHCA needs to devise a work plan to develop the future action. The chairperson agreed and urged the secretariat of APHCA to include this issue on the work-plan for 2003/04. Maybe the first step should be the development of TCP for funding by FAO.

National currency fund (NCF)

The vice chairperson/delegate from Malaysia raised the use of APHCA NCF. He pinpointed that APHCA was very active in organizing training and technical staff exchange programmes, thus promoting “human resource development” under the TCDC concept. The use of NFC would facilitate the programmes as such. The chairperson and the secretary requested all member countries, which have their NCF, to consider use of this fund for future APHCA activities. The delegate from Pakistan suggested NCF be used for training purposes (technical capacity building).

The chairperson proposed and encouraged all APHCA member countries to provide a list of technical experts (as well as their fields of expertise) and the training modules which could be offered to other member countries under TCDC criteria, as and when required.

Yearly work (work achieved/performed during 2001/02)

APHCA, together with various co-sponsors, have organized several workshops and training courses. Details of the courses/training programmes can be found in the section - works performed/achieved during October 2001 - August 2002 (working papers of the 60th executive committee meeting and 26th session of APHCA - APHCA 02/5).

The secretary acknowledged the contributions from FAO Headquarters’ feed resources group for sponsoring the interim APHCA executive committee meeting (in Bangkok) as well as this 26th APHCA session.

The secretary emphasized again the importance of collaboration with other international organizations and institutions (especially those who have jointly worked with APHCA, i.e. OIE, the Japan Livestock Technology Association (JLTA), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Chiang Mai University of Thailand, Free University of Berlin, the Thai Department of Livestock Development, etc.)

APHCA information unit

The secretary informed that the commission has maintained a website for APHCA’s information. He proposed and volunteered to send out information on CD-ROM to the delegates and requested the delegates to further distribute the information using floppy diskettes. The homepage of APHCA will be frequently updated and an information officer from AGA, FAO Headquarters will help to maintain and make this website more interactive. Feedback on the website was requested by the Secretary.

Promoting membership

Recently, China has officially requested to join APHCA (copies of the letter forwarded to all participants). The chairperson thanked Viet Nam for attending this meeting as an observer and urged this observer to persuade his country to eventually join APHCA. Two other countries, Afghanistan and East Timor, recently made general inquiries about joining FAO and APHCA. The secretary clarified that if non-FAO countries have an interest in joining APHCA, the current APHCA members need to approve their applications. This process would not be needed for China who is a current FAO member. However, the chairperson requested all members to read through this letter from China and voice their welcome. Members indicated that they have no objection to China, Afghanistan and East Timor joining APHCA.

Cooperative activities with international organizations and donor agencies (APHCA 02/5).

The secretary briefed the members on cooperation and activities with international organizations and donor agencies.

Other works to be continued and planned for September 2002/03 are presented in the working papers and were explained by the secretary.

The secretary addressed the importance of animal identification and traceability. He explained the problems that arise in Europe from not having a standard identification and traceability system and that APHCA member countries could benefit from this European experience and try to agree at an early stage on a standardized system for this region.

H. Wagner briefed the meeting on the TCP proposal on “animal identification and traceability”. This proposal would involve all the 15 APHCA countries and its objective is to develop standards and guidelines of animal identification and traceability system. This proposed system is aimed to be tested in three to four states or sub-regions of APHCA. Generally, there is sufficient expertise in this region, but assistance from outside countries would have to be sourced. Especially by those countries which have faced problems in the past. It is desired to focus on retired expertise from the region because full experts are very costly. The services are needed for about three to four months. The International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR) and OIE have been approached, but they have only given moral support and no financial contribution. Government employees who are experts in this field are not available. The EU has some funding in these fields, but cannot confirm financial support for this programme. If no financial resources are obtained, these programmes will still be run with the limited finds available.

The delegate from India mentioned that APHCA should be concerned and involved regarding this matter. APHCA should consider using regional expertise in developing new strategies and standards before approaching experts from elsewhere. She stressed that APHCA should address this issue as soon as possible, but in the context of the requirements of small animal husbandry stakeholders as against requirements of commercial producers. This issue can only be up to the requirements of health and trade and should not introduce a costly and unnecessary surveillance system.

The meeting adjourned for lunch at 1240 hrs and resumed at 1400 hrs.

Saturday, 24 August 2002 - Afternoon programme

Special presentations on the on-going and future APHCA activities(APHCA 02/6)

Protecting the environment from the impact of the growing industrialization of livestock production in East Asia (by H. Wagner)

This programme was initiated by the “FAO Livestock Environment and Development (LEAD) Initiative” and supported by RAP. The dramatic increase in demand and output of livestock products mainly from pigs and poultry in the Asian region was highlighted. It is observed that under market pressure and in a framework of weak regulations, traditional mix-farming systems have progressively split into specialized crop and livestock activities that operate in different geographical areas and under different management rules. This has given rise to concentration of livestock populations (urbanization) and de-connection between livestock and land resources resulting in environmental (surface and ground water pollution, odor), public health/animal health and poverty alleviation issues that finally have an impact on the global environment. To address the issue and in follow-up, a workshop in Bangkok on Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Project Development Framework (PDF)-B Project has been prepared to address the issues. PDF-B Project funding is up to US$ 390 000 allowing the preparation of a full GEF project which is approximately estimated at US$ 10 million. The project has been submitted to GEF - World Bank for consideration. Some delay occurred due to problems in the replenishment of the GEF fund. The proposal should now be considered at its session in November 2002. Participating countries are Cambodia, China, Laos, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam,.

State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR) (by H. Wagner)

H. Wagner briefed all members on the progress in the preparation for the first report on the state of the worlds’ animal genetic resources. Representatives from 22 countries in Asia have been trained in a workshop in November/December 2001 in Bangladesh. Trained experts were expected to serve as trainers and resource persons for the report preparation in their home countries. Some financial assistance to complement countries efforts could be secured and so far 10 countries have taken advantage of the possibility. Some countries still have not tapped the funds which have been offered. It was stressed that if necessary expert assistance can be provided. He stressed that the country report is not an inventory of AnGR, nor an update of WWL-DAD and also is not a report to satisfy international reporting commitments. The country report actually provides an opportunity to create vision and strategic directions for the better management of AnGR and to clearly establish priorities for further action and needs. Member countries are at different stages of report preparation in writing the country report. Sri Lanka has already submitted its country report. Malaysia, Viet Nam and a few other APHCA member countries are progressing well. The deadline for submission of the draft report has been extended to end of 2002.

Village poultry development - HOPE-A (by D. Hoffmann)

D. Hoffmann presented a paper entitled “village poultry development: getting it right for the benefit of the poor (A component of HOPE-A). All the background material can be found in the APHCA 02/6 working papers. The business session was adjourned on the afternoon of the 24 August 2002.

Sunday, 25 August 2002 - Morning programme

Regional workshop on feed and food safety

In the morning of 25 August 2002, the FAO-APHCA regional workshop on feed and food safety was conducted for the interest of APHCA members. (A write up on the workshop and full papers of the other presentations can be found in APHCA 02/7).

Summary notes from the workshop are as the follows:

The FAO/APHCA regional workshop on feed and food safety was held on 25 August 2002. The participants included APHCA delegates, observers attending the APHCA session and representatives from the private sector in Malaysia. The secretary for APHCA gave his opening remarks. He also chaired the first session of the workshop. A. Speedy (FAO Headquarters) chaired the second session of the workshop and supervised the final discussion.

The first paper entitled “Animal feed safety” was presented by A. Speedy (FAO Headquarters, Rome). He introduced the topic by highlighting the livestock revolution and the drastic increased production in poultry (meat and eggs) and pigs and the associated increase in the demand for animal feed in Asia. Safety in the feed industry involves several processes such as in sourcing of raw materials, feed mills, transportation, etc. An overview was given on the various draft codes of standards under the codex alimentarius related to feed safety issues.

Using BSE as an example, the emphasis on feed safety issues was highlighted. FAO believes all countries should do surveillance on BSE. FAO can provide assistance for capacity building. There is a need for establishing a data information system. To a question on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), it was stated that a committee has been set up to draw up standards for compliance. India requested FAO and APHCA to take up the petition of India with regard to BSE as no cow-slaughter is legally allowed nor is cow beef exported from this country. Hence, the regular BSE surveillance projects need to be modified on these counts for India.

The second paper entitled “FAO information resources - feed and food safety” was presented by R. Rajah (FAO Headquarters, Rome). She highlighted the problems faced by delegates in retrieving data from the FAO website and provided a step-by-step guide for easy access to information from the website.

The third paper entitled “BSE surveillance programme” was presented by S.S. Hassan (Veterinary Research Institute, DVS, Malaysia). A successful BSE surveillance programme has been implemented in Malaysia and no cases of BSE have been detected.

The fourth paper entitled “The veterinary health mark scheme under the veterinary inspection and accreditation programme” by M.K.M. Sharif (DVS, Malaysia). The veterinary health mark logo is a mark of quality given to plants processing livestock products, awarded under the veterinary inspection and accreditation programme of the DVS, Ministry of Agriculture, Malaysia. It also signifies the complete compliance by the plants to the minimal standards of hygiene and sanitation, quality assurance and food safety set by the DVS.

The fifth paper entitled “MS ISO 9000 on livestock farms” was presented by V. Ng I. Hooi (DVS, Malaysia). He highlighted the objectives of implementing the MS ISO 9000 system on several government livestock breeding farms in Malaysia. The implementation of this system has effected an improvement in efficiency and productivity; better management; greater awareness, commitment and increased competency of staff; greater teamwork and decreased wastage.

A general discussion followed and was chaired by A. Speedy. The first topic discussed was on BSE surveillance. Several countries outlined their activities and views on BSE surveillance. Most of these countries are aware of BSE issues and are on alert. Thailand has an ongoing surveillance programme, but such a programme is costly. Bangladesh and Indonesia stated that they have stopped importation of meat and bone meal. India and Nepal stated that their cattle are not for human consumption and under no perceived risk. Hence, the FAO requirements for BSE free status should not be applied equally to all countries. Iran’s surveillance programme did not detect any BSE cases. Pakistan has a surveillance system to satisfy trading partners. H. Wagner commented that as funds are rigid and BSE is mainly spread through meat and bone meal and animal imports (particularly dairy cattle), it would be better if screening for BSE is targeted at high risk areas. APHCA was requested to formalize and harmonize a system of BSE surveillance within the Region.

The workshop chairperson invited comments from various countries with regards to similar schemes on feed safety assurance as being implemented by Malaysia. Thailand reported a similar accreditation system was applied to Thai farms, and this was regulated by government agencies. India stated that quality assurance is being practiced for poultry feed. It was also mentioned that there is great emphasis on animal welfare in relation to feed safety. Quality assurance is not new in Pakistan as the country has been very much concerned with feed safety. Now the question arises as to how this quality assurance programme can be practiced at the smallholder’s level. The present quality assurance programme needs to be fine-tuned before it is applied to the region.

The chairperson questioned the appropriateness of ISO as the right approach to quality assurance on farm. Malaysia clarified its stand on this in the Malaysian context. In Malaysia, each government department is required to have at least one of its activities accredited with MS ISO 9000. The DVS had chosen to implement this standard for some of its breeding farms. However, this standard will not be imposed on private or smallholders’ farms. Emphasis for livestock farms involved in commercial food production will be the adoption of standards in Good Animal Husbandry Practices (GAHP). As the agenda of the world is food quality and safety, the veterinary health mark has been formulated to realize this objective. The chairperson invited members to propose to FAO-APHCA on how quality assurance programmes such as GAHP can be effectively implemented within the region.

FAO solicited feedback on the usefulness of e-forums to address the above issues. A. Speedy then thanked all speakers for their interesting presentations and adjourned the workshop.

Sunday, 25 August 2002 - Afternoon programme

The APHCA business session continued with presentations by international organizations. Four brief presentations were made as the follows:

1. OIE Southeast Asia foot and mouth disease campaign (by J. Edwards, OIE regional coordination unit, Bangkok)

The Southeast Asia foot and mouth disease campaign involves the coordination of foot and mouth disease authorities in eight of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries. These are Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. The campaign is overseen by the OIE sub-commission for FMD in Southeast Asia. The OIE Regional Coordination Unit (RCU) in Bangkok carries out the coordination function. The major sponsor for Phase II of the campaign is AusAID.

Progress and situation update

There are free zones for FMD in Indonesia and two thirds of the Philippines. The OIE-approved free zone in the Philippines was recently expanded to include the Visaya Island group, and East Malaysia is preparing a submission to OIE. FMD is present in other parts of the region and the level of control varies according to capacity.

A major initiative is the Malaysia-Thailand-Myanmar (MTM) campaign for FMD freedom and this involves cooperation between these countries and integrated donor support. It is likely to be a good model for use elsewhere in the region.

Communication is a high priority for the programme and participants were invited to join the mailing list for the OIE RCU quarterly newsletter and other publications.

The OIE RCU conducts meetings, workshops and consultancies to help progress its annual work plan. Meetings held this year include the 8th meeting of the OIE sub-commission, the 1st meeting of national FMD coordinators and a workshop on the MTM campaign. Planned for later this year are workshops on animal movement management (Hanoi, 9-13 September), the MTM Tri-State commission, Geographical Information System (GIS) and disease reporting (Bangkok) and project management (Philippines).

A session on FMD has been arranged for the Federation of Asian Veterinary Associations (FAVA) congress to be held in Malaysia from 27-28 August 2002. The chairperson asked members for any questions or any issues to be discussed. The vice chairperson/the delegate from Malaysia added that in the process of obtaining disease-free status for the region, there would be problems, as different countries would have different experiences and capacities. Thus, the approach of each country will have to be area-based. Malaysia is committed to ensuring continuity using three elements as a basis to create trade. Malaysia hopes to work with other member countries to look at the issue from similar angles and create incentives/approaches towards disease free status.

2. The role of ILRI in Southeast Asia (by D. Gray, ILRI, Philippines)

ILRI was formed in 1993 (Africa). The ILRI programme is active and will be strengthened in coming years in Asia. A nutritionist has been appointed in India, a new liaison scientist was appointed in Beijing, China, and a multi-disciplinary team was developed in the Philippines. Under ILRI regional system projects, smallholder dairy programmes and parasite control are some of the projects undertaken. The most significant is the collaboration of the small dairy workshop (South-South workshop) in Gujarat, India, 2001.

A website www.ssdairy.org is also available and readily accessible.

For the Southeast Asia (SEA) system programmes, there are consultation programmes, and other projects (1998-2001) which include crop animal system research network, sustainable parasitic control, FMD epidemiology, animal genetics resources, smallholder scale projects and food-feed systems. The existing projects are demand-driven and market orientated. ILRI get things done with funds available and bringingthe right people together through FAO. These programmes need to be reviewed and reassessed so as to have a better planning for the future programmes. The publications of ILRI would be advertised by FAO (network of community-based projects in China and Indonesia are examples parasitic control programme). In 2001 and 2002, mapping of livestock holdings of the poverty groups in the world was undertaken. The speaker stressed that animal diseases have a great impact on poverty. In the years 2001/02, ILRI’s highlights include livestock poverty mapping, the Bangkok workshop with FAO, the expansion of the SEA team to five scientists, the identification of South Asia as the next priority area and researches organized around five problem research themes.

The five research themes include determining the livestock contribution to pathways out of poverty, accelerating the adoption of livestock innovations of smallholder towards benefit of emerging livestock markets, usage of livestock biotechnology for development and positive contribution of livestock industry to human and environment health.

3. OIE activities in Asia and the Pacific (by T. Fujita, OIE-Tokyo office, Japan)

T. Fujita summarized OIE mandates to collect and disseminate information on animal diseases (including zoonotic), to coordinate research on animal disease surveillance & control and to develop animal health standards.

OIE activities are considered most important for international trade of animals and animal products, in particular after recognition by the World Trade Organization (WTO) as an animal health standards setting organization, furthermore Sanitary, Phyto-sanitary Standards (SPS) advocates the use of standards developed under the auspices of OIE. T. Fujita listed the challenges faced by OIE. One is in the field of zoonosis and diseases transmissible to humans through food. The intervention should be carried out in consultation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Codex Alimentarius.

Other issues mentioned in his presentation are the OIE regional representation’s activities which include various meetings and workshops on animal health including aquatic animal diseases for the region, collaboration with FAO-APHCA. He stressed possible future cooperation with FAO-APHCA and collaboration with Japan Livestock Technology Association (JLTA).

4. JICA project on animal disease control in Thailand and neighboring countries (by M. Sasaki, JICA project, Thailand)

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)’s project was launched in December 2001 for five year including six countries in Indo-China, excluding the Philippines and Indonesia. The overall goal is to improve animal health status in Thailand and neighboring countries. The participating six countries are Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Viet Nam, Malaysia (collaborating country) and Thailand (core or host country).

In Cambodia, the activities in this and next fiscal years are FMD surveillance and diagnosis, diagnosis on Hog Cholera (HC), Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (HS) and Newcastle disease, animal quarantine and movement control, general aspects on laboratory management.

In Lao PDR, the activities are general diagnosis including FMD and HS, vaccine production, epidemiology and surveillance, animal movement control.

In Myanmar, the activities are FMD vaccine production, surveillance and diagnosis, vaccine production and quality control (HS, Newcastle, Rabies; Brucellosis, etc.), disease surveillance and diagnosis (HC, Newcastle and Rabies), animal movement control.

In Viet Nam, the activities are FMD control, surveillance and diagnosis, epidemiology and diagnosis (PRRS, Rabies, poultry diseases); animal quarantine and movement control.

Malaysia, as the collaborating country is offering training on poultry disease diagnosis at the Veterinary Research Institute (VRI), Ipoh. The country is also offering expert visits in the fields of poultry diseases and related fields, as well as training in FMD and some zoonotic diseases.

Thailand is also offering training and technical services (from its National Institute of Animal Health (NIAH) in Bangkok, veterinary biologic division in pakchong and disease control/epidemiology divisions in Bangkok), which include FMD and other vaccines production, disease diagnostic, etc.

This JICA project sincerely wishes to maintain close collaboration with international and other bilateral donors to fulfill its long-term objectives; that is, improvement of animal health status in the Indo-China region.

Venue and dates of the 62nd executive committee meeting and the next (27th) session

The delegate from Pakistan generously offered to host the next (27th) APHCA session. The chairperson decided to provisionally accept the offer. However, he advised the delegate from Pakistan and the APHCA secretariat to consider the costs involved and the city in Pakistan which is most preferred as the venue. The tentative dates of the next session will be provided later, but the preferred month would be October 2003.

The secretary stated that the theme of the next session would be decided during the next interim executive committee meeting of APHCA to be organized sometime between September 2002 and October 2003. The secretary invited the members to provide suggested themes and agenda items to the APHCA secretariat.

The delegate from India suggested that the agenda for electing the chairperson, the vice chairperson and the other executive committee members should be held on the last day of the session. The reason for this suggestion was to allow members of the commission to discuss and decide on the nominations for the positions. The secretary thanked the delegate from India and will alter the proposed provisional agenda of the next session (i.e., to move item 2 - “induction of new chairperson and executive committee members” to item 8).

The chairperson reminded the members that their approval on the 2003 budget and the adoption of the minutes of this 26th session would be needed on the last day of the session (26 August 2002) and they should peruse and consider these overnight.

Monday, 26 August 2002 - Morning programme

A field trip was organized in the morning to a farm - the sheeptrade enterprise (M) Sdn. Bhd. This farm is producing goat’s milk, land raising goats, deer and cattle.

Monday, 26 August 2002 - Afternoon programme

The final business session commenced at 1400 hours.

Members approved the budget with the following changes:

The delegate from India raised the issue of the significant increase in item 5021 (travel), item 5024 (expendable procurement) of the 2003 budget. After intense deliberations, it was concluded that the Item 5024 shall be decreased by US$ 9 000 and the saving of US$ 9 000 from this shall be transferred to item 5013 (consultants). Also, any increase in budget figures so substantial as the present should be justified.

The delegate from India proposed to adopt the budget with these amendments. The delegate from Bangladesh seconded the motion.

Other business

The delegate from Iran proposed that APHCA should carry out a Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCAH) study as it is an upcoming issue in the Middle East. The secretary agreed with the issue and added that Rift Valley Fever has caused a lot of death in Yemen and Oman. Thus, it is good that APHCA consider this matter. The secretary volunteered to assist in uniting concerned organizations for further actions.

Serious discussion on the issue of animal traceability ensued after the delegate from India brought up this issue. It was concluded that traceability does not limit itself to the issue of food safety only but goes beyond into other areas like animal breeding. Therefore, there is a need for member countries to seriously think about this and come out with standard guidelines to be agreed on by all members.

It has been a practice that after a workshop on a particular topic, projects related to it will be identified. On this (after the FAO-APHCA regional workshop on feed and food safety organized on the previous day), the delegate from India requested that a copy of the feed act from Malaysia be used as reference material for other APHCA countries. The secretary will take further actions on this and also advised member countries not to duplicate en bloc, but to discuss with their relevant industries to formulate a practical legislation for their own use. The secretary also encouraged member countries to obtain information on these regulations from the FAO and the APHCA websites.

To increase APHCA membership, the chairperson asked about on the status of the invitation to the South Pacific countries. The secretary informed the meeting that an invitation was sent to Fiji, but had as of yet received no response. The delegate from Papua New Guinea clarified that most of the countries in the South Pacific are small and they worked together as a “South Pacific community”. A conclusion was made to invite representative(s) from the community to the next APHCA session as observer(s), after which they can decide to be a new member of APHCA.

The vice chairperson/the delegate from Malaysia raised the issue of how to proceed on human resource development under the APHCA TCDC programme and requested the APHCA secretariat in Bangkok to provide guidelines on this matter. He also encouraged member countries to use their national currency fund on relevant matters of their interest.

The chairperson requested the motion for the theme for the next APHCA session in Pakistan. The secretary suggested that member countries could propose suitable themes to be deliberated in the next interim executive committee meeting. He further suggested a theme related to emerging animal diseases for the benefit of the delegate from Iran.

The members again recommended that APHCA should focus on the three main issues which were already identified in the past, i.e., HOPE-A, South Asian FMD and animal genetic resources.

The secretary agreed and suggested that the members should also examine other issues recently raised such as animal traceability, swamp buffalo development, and human resource development within APHCA region.

Proposed provisional agenda for the 27th APHCA session

The provisional agenda for the 27th session of APHCA was circulated to all delegates. The chairperson requested that all amendments to the proposed agenda be forwarded to the secretary of APHCA.

Adoption of the minutes of the 26th APHCA session

The commission provisionally adopted the minutes of the 26th APHCA session and approved the budget revision for year 2003.

Closing of the session

The APHCA chairperson expressed his gratitude to all delegates and observers for their full cooperation as well as contribution to the 61st executive committee meeting and the 26th session of APHCA. He thanked the feed resource group, AGAP, FAO Rome for the interesting workshop on feed and food safety and for their financial support.

He sincerely thanked Dato’ Mohd. Nordin Haji Mohd. Nor, director-general, department of veterinary services, Malaysia and all his colleagues in the organizing committee for the excellent arrangements, hospitality and hard work that contributed to the success of all the APHCA functions. He also thanked the local secretariat and 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 Malaysia for the full support and assistance towards the successful session. The various sponsors for the lunches and dinners were also thanked for their kind hospitality. A full list of participants, observers and the organizing committee can be found in the full report (APHCA 02/10 of the 26th session report). He wished everyone a safe trip home.


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