Batch of export quality Somali goats

A batch of Somali goats destined for export markets. A harmonized livestock identification and traceability system in the IGAD region can improve efficiency of livestock marketing (photo credit: Terra Nuova).

Livestock identification and traceability systems enhance livestock production and trade by enabling improved surveillance and management of transboundary animal diseases. These systems can also be used to deter stock theft in areas that are prone to cattle rustling.

The livestock sector plays an important role in the economy of countries in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region. However, there is currently no harmonized system for livestock identification and traceability in the region, as countries are at different stages of setting up the required legal and institutional frameworks.

To address this issue, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in collaboration with the African Union – Interafrican Bureau on Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development have convened a regional workshop on 4-5 February 2014 at the ILRI Addis Ababa Campus, Ethiopia.

The workshop brings together some 40 stakeholders from the public and private sectors in the IGAD region including chief veterinary officers, livestock producers, traders and transporters, meat processors, researchers and policymakers.

The objectives of the workshop are to:

  • review the current livestock identification and traceability systems in the IGAD member states and the extent to which these systems have been used in the surveillance and management of transboundary animal diseases in the region;
  • develop a consensus on the role of livestock identification and traceability systems in the region, given the existence of diverse livestock production systems, marketing channels and infrastructure; and
  • identify practical options and approaches to develop a harmonized livestock identification and traceability system in the IGAD region.

For more information about the workshop, contact Florence Mutua (f.mutua@cgiar.org) or Bernard Bett (b.bett@cgiar.org) of ILRI, or James Wabacha of AU-IBAR (james.wabacha@au-ibar.org).