Animal health is a constant concern of agriculture in general and livestock in particular at the Mediterranean region. The economic and social implications are very important in countries affected and also in those threatened by animal diseases such as avian flu, zoonoses and other transboundary animal diseases (TADs). These effects are so important that the livestock sector has a national and international influence for countries in the North African region, hence the importance of fighting against TADs.

It is impossible to expect a reduction of the negative impact of animal diseases without the growing awareness of farmers (especially small farmers and family farms) about the risks of animal diseases / zoonoses and the control methods as well as the socio-economical impact that a better prevention of these diseases could generate. We must improve communication between different actors in both sectors of production and animal health in order to get established a collaborative strategy involving joint actions of different parties at the national and regional levels.

The Regional Animal Health Centre for North Africa (FAO-OIE/RAHC-NA) proposes a dialogue between different actors in the livestock sector and the animal health through the establishment of the Socio-Economy Network for Production and Animal Health (RESEPSA), included in the REMESA initiative (Mediterranean Animal Health Network), which would involve different parties namely the national and regional veterinary services as well as small, medium and large farmers which will be the main beneficiaries of this network.

The main issues proposed for this network will take aim at the socio-economic impacts of transboundary animal diseases, the improvement of biosafety, the prevention and prophylaxis among farmers and the study and preservation of local animal genetic resources entrusted to increase resistance against priority diseases in the region.