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.

Brucellosis eradication and rehabilitation of cattle in Fiji
Monday, 05 March 2012 07:57

Dr Ken Cokanasiga carrying out pregnancy diagnosis (palpation) on a heifer from New Zealand at the Waidradara Cattle Research Station in Naitasiri, FijiThe Animal Health and Production Team of SPC’s Land Resources Division continues to assist the Animal Health and Production Division of Fiji’s Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) with brucellosis eradication and rehabilitation work in the dairy industry.

After the outbreak of brucellosis in cattle in June, 2009 in the Tailevu province of Fiji —a major dairying area with some 19000 dairy cattle — the Animal Health and Production Division of the MPI embarked on a stringent test and slaughter campaign to eradicate the bacteria from cattle herds in the country. This reduced the number of dairy cattle, thereby reducing the production of whole milk by the dairy sector.

Rehabilitation efforts by the MPI have focussed on the introduction of heifer cattle and breeding bulls from New Zealand, and inputs into pasture and fencing improvements.  Farms that are declared free of bovine brucellosis and tuberculosis will be eligible to receive New Zealand cattle from the Ministry.

The imported dairy cattle have been on three government research stations since their introduction. Ongoing technical assistance is currently being provided by the SPC Animal Health and Production team to the three cattle research stations in Fiji. The assistance includes determining the herds’ pregnancy status and feeding regimes, monitoring calf health, and giving advice on appropriate treatments.

The development of appropriate management practices is also being undertaken in collaboration with the Ministry and stakeholders in Fiji.


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