Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Disease (ECTAD) - Viet Nam

Farm to Chopsticks: Value Chain and Biosecurity

©FAO

Biosecurity
Since the H5N1 HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) outbreaks started in 2003, poor biosecurity in poultry farms and at live bird markets has been recognized as one of the factors that contributed to increasing the risk for disease introduction, spread along poultry value chains in Viet Nam. In order to control the disease spread from the grass root level, ECTAD Viet Nam is implementing biosecurity activities in the context of safer farming practices with poultry traders, vendors, hatchery and parent flock farmers.

The Department of Livestock Production has been the main counterpart for implementing poultry farm biosecurity activities aimed at minimizing impacts of diseases. Most recently, FAO ECTAD Viet Nam identified and trained master trainers who then rolled out a training program on biosecurity guidelines for small and medium scale hatcheries. The guidelines were officially issued by MARD Minister for national adoption. They were created based on a DLP-FAO pilot project implemented at twelve farms in the Quang Tri and Can Tho Provinces where farmers experienced a positive and significant change in their business and working environment while protecting their flocks against diseases including Avian Influenza. FAO is now working to reach a larger number of farmers across Viet Nam with the aim of expanding the guideline program nationwide. In the future, FAO will support improved biosecurity along the value chain as part of a disease risk mitigation approach against zoonotic diseases that may be derived from wildlife and livestock farms.
 
Wildlife farming for livestock production
In Viet Nam, more than 182 species of wildlife are being farmed for food, medicinal purposes and wildlife products (source: Southern Viet Nam’s wildlife farm survey report at a glance, FAO). As these farms can also serve as a bridge for zoonotic disease transmission between wildlife and humans, improvements to regulations and management are needed as this production system poses a significant risk.

FAO ECTAD Viet Nam, in partnership with the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry (VN Forest) and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), has conducted a wildlife farm census in 12 pilot provinces to better understand the wildlife farming situation. The information and distribution maps derived from this census help authorities better quantify and qualify the wildlife farming system, and helps strengthen management of wildlife farms by providing important insights into aspects of animal husbandry, biosecurity, production practices, food safety, health issues, and protection of endangered wildlife species.

Previously, FAO ECTAD Viet Nam, in collaboration with the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, and the Vietnamese Academy of Sciences conducted a the bat ecology and surveillance study to increase in-country national capacity in wildlife health through the training and education of biologists and veterinarians.

In the future there is need to establish a long-term, sustainable wildlife disease monitoring program in Viet Nam with a focus on understanding disease ecology and disease transmission between agriculture, wildlife, and human.

Value Chain Analysis
Understanding how poultry moves in Viet Nam or cross borders is crucial in comprehending how pathogens move within the region. Therefore in collaboration with MARD and various research centers, such as the Royal Veterinary College and FAO ECTAD Viet Nam has been actively conducting studies on poultry value chains in and outside of Viet Nam.

Value chain studies have proven useful in enhancing understanding of production system dynamics, product flows, drivers and governance mechanisms, participants in production chains, and their behaviors, incentives, and inter-relationships. Through an understanding of key livestock commodity value chain of key commodities, valuable information on likely disease transmission pathways to together target control interventions.

FAO ECTAD Viet Nam has conducted multiple value chain analyses in the past few years focused on sources of spent hens, eggs and day old chicks entering Viet Nam from China and their pathways of movement to South. Other value chain studies have examined openly grazed duck production in the Mekong Delta, including movements between Viet Nam and Cambodia. Value chain information is also supporting risk assessments, surveillance strategies in Viet Nam, demonstrating the importance of updating these target studies.