Animal Health and Production


Livestock plays an important role in the social, cultural and economic environment of Pacific Island communities. Indeed many, of the important social and cultural events in island life cannot be properly carried out without the slaughter and presentation of livestock in sufficient numbers. The Animal Health and Production thematic team works together in the Pacific region to develop prosperous, efficient and sustainable animal health and production systems, producing healthy animals and safe products for food security and income generation.

Animal specimen shipping protocol simulation exercise for the North Pacific
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 11:00
Animal health officers meet together this week at the University of Guam for the Pacific Animal Health Laboratory Network (PAHLNet) Sub-regional laboratory workshop for North Pacific countries.

The activity runs from May 2-6, 2011 with the objective of testing the shipping mechanism and sub-regional animal health laboratory referral concept developed for the US Affiliated Pacific Island (USAPI) countries.

The University of Guam (UOG) have completed the establishment of the proposed sub-regional animal health laboratory for the North Pacific countries early this year.


This was the result of the close collaboration between the College of Natural and Applied Science and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources of UOG, Department of Agriculture of Guam and the Pacific Regional Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Project (PRIPPP) managed by SPC under the funding of AusAid and NZ Aid Program. 

A small ceremony was held yesterday morning to mark the completion of this joint mission. Mr. Amena Yavoli, Manager SPC Regional Office for the Northern Pacific, has joined the participants during the ceremony to further demonstrate SPC’s continuous commitment to this undertaking. The workshop participants will test run the equipments through the laboratory exercises scheduled throughout the week.

A similar handover ceremony was held last 21st April to mark the completion of the Fiji Veterinary Pathology Laboratory as the sub-regional laboratory for Polynesia.  The upgrading of the animal health laboratory in Papua New Guinea to cater for Melanesian countries, was completed in 2009 in partnership with PNG National Agriculture and Quarantine Inspection Authority (NAQIA).  The upgraded facility is now the National Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory, situated in Kila Kila Port Moresby,

Several other organizations have significantly contributed in organizing this week’s workshop including the Pacific Islands Health Officers Association (PIHOA), CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) and the public health sector of each participating North Pacific  country. 

PIHOA have offered assistance for the transport of animal specimen collected from participating countries to be used for the laboratory exercises.  Ms. Vasiti Uluiviti, PIHOA Regional Laboratory Coordinator, have also provided logistics support and technical guidance by allowing access to the PIHOA shipping account and drafting an animal health shipping protocol specific for North Pacific countries. 

The shipping protocol outlines the different information and procedures for shipping animal diagnostic specimen while utilizing the PIHOA shipping mechanism for human health. This exercise with PIHOA has provided a good opportunity for animal health officers to touch base with their in-country human health counterparts.  The Guam Department of Agriculture have contributed through providing advice on the appropriate import permits to allow efficient entry of the different reagents and animal diagnostic specimen to be used for the exercises.

CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) has provided technical expertise for the effective delivery of laboratory exercises.  CSIRO AAHL’s Regional Program within the Diagnosis, Surveillance and Response group delivers AAHL’s scientific and laboratory capacity building activities internationally, in particular the Asia Pacific region.  AAHL’s microbiologist, Mr. Trevor Taylor, will provide technical and practical guidance in the conduct of brucellosis and leptospirosis diagnostic tests for cattle, goat, dogs and swine.

The participants are expected to acquire basic knowledge on the procedures and determine which tests are suitable to be conducted in their respective countries.

This simulation exercise is the first opportunity for the public health and human health sector to transport animal specimen for diagnostic testing in Guam.  The three month preparation for this workshop was not without challenges. 

The lessons learned throughout this exercise will serve as the building blocks in strengthening the shipping mechanism and animal disease diagnostic capacity in the North Pacific.  New project funding to support active surveillance will be critical in utilizing and maintaining the newly established facilities in the Northern Pacific region.

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PRIPPP Paravet TrainingSwimming pigs