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.

LEGS training for the Pacific region
Thursday, 15 November 2012 09:41

Representatives from animal health sectors and disaster management agencies from six Pacific Island countries participated in the Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) training that was held from October 29 to November 1, 2012 at the Tanoa International Hotel Nadi, Fiji. The activity is an outcome of the close collaboration between SPC Animal Health and Production Services, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) as part of the SPC/GIZ Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region (CCCPIR) programme.  This pilot LEGS training is part of the effort to make the livestock sector more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

The Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) are a set of international guidelines and standards for the design, implementation and assessment of livestock interventions to assist people affected by humanitarian crises, such as natural disasters. LEGS is the result of concerns that interventions in emergencies often fail to support the livelihood and resilience of pastoralists and livestock farmers.  The LEGS training is intended for agencies — NGOs, multi-lateral agencies and governments — that implement emergency interventions in disaster areas where livelihoods are derived from livestock. It is also relevant to policy and decision-makers within donor and government agencies whose funding and implementation decisions affect disaster responses. The training is also useful for educational institutions, humanitarian and community-based organisations.  A good understanding of LEGS provides valuable knowledge on how livestock production organisations and disaster management agencies can work together to protect and rebuild livestock assets in crisis-affected communities.  While the suggested interventions will save lives of animals during disasters, the main focus of LEGS is to save the livelihoods of communities, particularly those who rely on livestock as a source of revenue. 

Countries participating to this training included Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. Two students studying for a Diploma in Animal Health at Fiji National University also participated, representing youth in agriculture and the education sector.  Certified LEGS trainers from WSPA Asia volunteered to facilitate the training sessions to contribute to improving people’s knowledge of livestock climate disaster planning and response at village, national and regional levels.

Participants were taught how to plan and coordinate disaster response, guided by the LEGS handbook, a participatory planning and coordinating tool developed through wide consultations with practitioners and policy makers around the world, documenting the guidelines and standards for livestock-based interventions in both rapid and slow-onset emergencies. The LEGS training held last week was the first to be held in the Pacific region since the publication of the LEGS handbook in 2009.  Although the concept is new to the region, the reception of the participants to the LEGS approach was very positive.  More training at the national level was requested, in order to raise awareness and to effectively adapt the LEGS approach to disaster planning and response to a Pacific context.  A total of 26 participants completed the four-day training.

Visit the LEGS website for more information, or send your queries to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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