Botswana to host meeting on animal health

GABORONE, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- The 25th Conference of the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) Regional Commission for Africa will take place in Botswana on Feb. 21-24, 2023.

In a press conference held Tuesday in the capital Gaborone, Agriculture Minister Fidelis Molao emphasized the importance of the livestock subsector in sustaining rural communities by providing jobs and income.

Having this conference in Botswana "sends a clear political signal of commitment to participating in the international effort to protect the health of animals in order to protect the health of people and their livelihoods," he said.

He said the conference would be a great place for Botswana to share its knowledge and expertise in the livestock sector, especially in beef production and disease control in animals, and for experts in animal health to network and collaborate with their peers from other countries.

Representatives from 54 African member states, WOAH collaboration partners, and international experts in animal health are among the anticipated 130 to 150 attendees.

The WOAH is a global body of governments committed to improving animal health, animal welfare, and veterinary public health through the establishment of international norms. The regulations allow participating countries to ensure the safety of their livestock and citizens. They also discuss a country's current disease situation.

As a member of the WOAH, Botswana is officially recognized as having Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)-Free Zones. The organization has also endorsed the southern African nation's FMD control program, which employs risk-based control measures to eradicate FMD gradually.

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