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.

Towards more sustainable paraveterinary training in the Pacific region
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 09:12
 Mechanisms to sustain the SPC paraveterinary training programme were explored at a workshop held in Nadi, Fiji, from 11 to 13 May. Ways of sustaining the delivery of the training programme, which was developed in 2003 to address a longstanding need to strengthen the capacity of animal health and production specialists in the Pacific region, were the main focus.

The programme currently provides support to the region’s capacity to prepare for, and respond effectively to, threats posed by emerging infectious diseases of animals, including zoonotics such as the highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Since 2003, more than 300 paraveterinarians have successfully undertaken the course, which was jointly developed by Agricultural Development in the America Pacific (ADAP), the University of the South Pacific and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), with strong donor support provided by NZAID. Since 2003, the training has been delivered by SPC and, more recently, through partnerships involving academic training institutions, national agencies and other donors in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, as well as SPC.

Since 2006, funding for SPC’s provision of course materials and delivery of the training, free of charge, to all participants and trainers, has been greatly assisted by AusAID and NZAID through the Pacific Regional Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Project (PRIPPP). PRIPPP supported the training for 204 of the 300 paraveterinarians trained. With the PRIPP Project ending in June 2011, and uncertainties regarding continued donor support after this, the need to explore ways of sustaining the paraveterinary training programme within the region is critical. 

Since 2009, the University of Natural Resources and Environment, the National Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Authority, NZAID, private enterprise organisations, SPC staff in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education, the Fiji Ministry of Primary Industries, the Fiji National University, and the AusAID Rural Development Program in Solomon Islands have implemented country-level delivery of the paraveterinary training.

The Nadi workshop was attended by representatives from USP, SPC and academic training institutions and agriculture ministries of eight Pacific Island countries (Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga and Federated States of Micronesia). The workshop discussed ways in which the paraveterinarian training curriculum could be incorporated into existing programmes or be established as a stand-alone programme, and also explored ways of building in-country partnerships between national training institutions and other stakeholders to support the delivery of the programme in-country.

The three-day workshop was organised by the Animal Health and Production Section of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.


PRIPPP Paravet TrainingSwimming pigs