Animal Welfare Competence Center For Africa

WOAH/VSF-int project: Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWS)

Community-based animal health workers (CAHWs) are present in dozens of countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. They deliver valuable animal health services to livestock keepers in rural areas where other animal health service providers are lacking. Despite CAHWs’ important role in providing animal health services to populations that depend heavily on animals for their livelihoods and food security, the successful, sustainable development and deployment of CAHWs faces numerous challenges and constraints.

To address these, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) and VSF International jointly implemented a two-year project entitled “Strengthening the enabling environment for community animal health workers through development of competency and curricula guidelines,”.


As of the beginning of 2023, WOAH convened its first meeting of the Ad Hoc Group of international experts, who are tasked with developing the minimum competencies expected for CAHWs and the training curriculum needed to achieve these competencies, based on an analysis of global training materials undertaken by a WOAH expert together with data from in-depth country case studies on CAHW programmes including field visits and stakeholder interviews in Burundi, Cambodia, Niger, and South Sudan in order to ensure a broad spectrum of contexts, in terms of livestock production systems, training, supervision relationships and business models.

The report provides an overview of the approaches that have been taken so far (in terms of national policy frameworks, project planning and design, selection and training of CAHWs, and supervision and monitoring mechanisms) and provides targeted recommendations to improve the sustainability of future CAHW programs. CAHWs’ contributions to One Health and opportunities offered by more integration of women in CAHW programs are also highlighted and discussed.

Economic Cost of Zoonotic diseases: A One-health Approach

The article titled “A One Health Framework for Estimating the Economic Costs of Zoonotic Diseases on Society” by Clare Narrod, Jakob Zinsstag, and Marites Tiangco presents a comprehensive framework for assessing the economic impact of zoonotic diseases on society. The study emphasizes the need for a multi-sectoral approach to effectively address zoonotic diseases and their associated costs.

The framework consists of four essential steps that include estimating the extent of the disease and potential spread, estimating the cost of zoonotic disease on livelihoods outcomes (income, health, and trade), including environmental impacts, assessing the cost-effectiveness of risk management strategies currently employed for reduction of human and animal zoonotic disease exposure risk and identifying factors affecting adoption of zoonotic risk reduction strategies in poor households, the commercial sector and government bodies. By following these steps, the framework aims to provide a holistic understanding of the economic implications of zoonotic diseases and guide policymakers and stakeholders in making informed decisions.

The authors highlight the importance of collaboration across various sectors, including human health, animal health, agriculture, and environment, to effectively combat zoonotic diseases. The framework also incorporates a toolkit of existing resources, such as databases, models and guidelines to support the implementation of the framework. This toolkit enables policymakers and researchers to access valuable information and tools that facilitate the estimation of economic costs and the development of targeted interventions.

Overall, this article provides a comprehensive and standardized approach to estimate the economic costs associated with zoonotic diseases, thereby enabling policymakers to make informed decisions and allocate resources effectively to prevent and control these diseases. By implementing the framework, stakeholders can work together to safeguard public health and mitigate the economic impact of zoonotic diseases on society.

Animal welfare and animal rights: Ethics, science and explanations


AS-662-W is a publication by Purdue University that discusses the ethical considerations surrounding the use and treatment of animals. It emphasizes the importance of assessing animal welfare through measures such as behavior and body condition. The authors argue that ethical considerations should be at the forefront of any animal-related decision-making process. The document covers a wide range of topics and provides an overview of the different viewpoints on animal welfare, including utilitarianism and rights-based approaches. It also covers the different ways in which animals are used and treated, including in agriculture, research, and entertainment. The authors provide practical guidance on how to assess animal welfare in each of these contexts, highlighting the importance of considering the animal’s physical and psychological well-being.

The publication provides an overview of the different stakeholders involved in animal welfare, including animal welfare organizations, industry groups, and regulatory bodies.  It also emphasizes the importance of collaboration and communication between these groups in order to improve animal welfare outcomes. is an informative and thought-provoking publication that encourages readers to consider the ethical implications of their actions towards animals. It provides practical guidance on how to evaluate animal welfare in different contexts and emphasizes the importance of collaboration and communication between different stakeholders.

Inaccessibility of vets to small-scale farmers

The article “Vets remain inaccessible to small-scale farmers” sheds light on the challenges that small-scale farmers in South Africa face in accessing veterinary services including shortage of veterinarians in rural areas and high costs associated with private veterinary services which has resulted in farmers resorting to unregulated and often ineffective animal health treatments, which ultimately affect the quality of their products.

Overall, the article highlights the challenges faced by small-scale farmers in accessing veterinary services and the impact of this on the overall agricultural sector. It emphasizes the need for investment in veterinary infrastructure, training of more veterinary professionals, and collaboration between the government, veterinary professionals, and the agricultural sector to address the issue. The article serves as a call to action for stakeholders in the agricultural sector to work together towards providing accessible and affordable veterinary services for small-scale farmers, which will ultimately contribute to the growth and development of the sector.

Agricultural impact of meat and dairy exports in African countries

In the past decade, meat and dairy exports from developed countries, particularly the European Union, have been increasing, and are expected to continue to grow in the future. While this trend offers potential economic benefits for developing countries, such as increased income and employment opportunities, it also raises concerns about the potential negative impacts on local food systems and the environment. There for, gaining a better understanding of the possible effects of exports of meat and dairy products on the economies of developing nations formed a key objective of ‘The Impact of Meat and Dairy Exports on Developing Countries’ (IMMPEX) project conducted by a consortium of institutions in Europe and Africa, including the Thünen Institute of Farm Economics, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and Wageningen University. To achieve this, the project is evaluating the possible impacts of various scenarios of expansion in meat and dairy exports on local economies using a combination of quantitative modeling and case studies.

Overall, the IMMPEX project provides important insights into the complex relationship between meat and dairy exports and development in developing countries. Although there is significant potential for export-led growth to contribute to economic development and poverty reduction, the potential risks and negative impacts on local food systems and the environment need to be carefully evaluated. The project emphasizes the need for a holistic approach that takes into account the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of meat and dairy trade, and provides important information for policymakers and other stakeholders to make informed decisions about the future of meat and dairy exports. find more details in their report here

New Animal Welfare Assessment System

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have developed a new welfare assessment system that allows animal welfare to be assessed alongside other impacts of farming like carbon emissions and biodiversity. The system uses a range of welfare measurements to assess an animal’s quality of life and combines this with the length of the animal’s life, enabling farms to be compared based on their animal welfare standards. The findings will help address animal welfare concerns in livestock production at a time when demand for meat is increasing globally. The research was carried out on 74 UK pig farming systems, and different farm types were ranked on their animal welfare standards

Infectious diseases and One Health


In West Africa, as in many parts of the world, people are interacting more and more with many and different animal species, increasing the risk of zoonotic diseases as well as the emergence of novel pathogens in new species or habitats.  A new three-year research project using a One Health approach is being conducted in Guinea, Nigeria, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, in collaboration with universities, government institutions, civil society organizations, and community action networks in the UK and Australia. The research aims to identify sustainable ways of managing the increased risk of zoonotic diseases caused by human-animal interactions. The project will investigate the relationship between land use change and zoonotic disease incidence, disruption of health services from outbreaks, the impact of disease outbreaks on rural women and food security, and more. The findings will highlight the influence of land use change and other factors on disease outbreaks and demonstrate community engagement in disease surveillance and prevention. The project aims to build consensus around policy changes and engage stakeholders at all levels to maximize the impact of its research. More details about the research can be found in the link

One Health-One Welfare


The article titled “One Health and One Welfare: A Framework for Animal Welfare in the Context of One Health” explores the relationship between animal welfare and human well-being. The article argues that animal welfare is a critical component of One Health and provides a roadmap for integrating animal welfare into policy and decision-making. One Welfare is an emerging concept that includes animal welfare, environmental conservation, human welfare, and societal mental health. It further emphasizes the importance of considering animal welfare in the context of One Health and provides insights into the process of integrating animal welfare into public health policy and decision-making.

The article begins by describing the connections between One Health and One Welfare and the need for a holistic approach to public health and animal welfare. It then outlines the principles of One Welfare and how they relate to animal welfare, environmental conservation, human welfare, and societal mental health. The article provides case studies of successful One Welfare initiatives and recommends best practices for implementing One Welfare at the global, national, and local levels.

The author concludes by emphasizing the importance of One Welfare for achieving sustainable development and mitigating the impact of emerging zoonotic diseases. It stresses the need for collaborative partnerships between public health, animal health, and environmental health professionals to implement One Welfare successfully. Overall, the article provides a comprehensive examination of the One Welfare framework and its importance for public health and animal welfare.

Aquaculture in Africa

In this captivating article titled “Aquaculture in Africa: Aquatic Animal Welfare, Impact on the Environment, and the Sustainability of the Sector” the authors embark on a journey to explore the multifaceted issues surrounding aquaculture practices in Africa. The authors present a detailed analysis of three crucial aspects: aquatic animal welfare, environmental implications, and the overall sustainability of the aquaculture sector.

The first part of the article sheds light on aquatic animal welfare discussing the ethical and moral considerations of raising and farming fish and other aquatic species. It delves into the challenges of ensuring optimal living conditions for the animals, addressing their healthcare needs, and minimizing stress levels during aquaculture practices. This section emphasizes the importance of adopting humane practices and responsible husbandry techniques to enhance the welfare of farmed aquatic animals.


Secondly, the article examines the impact of aquaculture on the environment discussing various environmental concerns associated with the industry, such as water quality degradation, habitat loss, and potential pollution from waste and chemicals. The article highlights the importance of recognizing the interconnectedness of aquaculture systems with surrounding ecosystems. It presents case studies and research on best practices to mitigate the environmental impacts and promote sustainable aquaculture development in Africa.


Finally, the article evaluates the overall sustainability of the aquaculture sector on the continent. It assesses the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of the industry’s growth. They emphasize the need for a balanced approach that not only considers profit and production but also takes into account social equity and ecological integrity. The article discusses potential policy interventions and technological innovations that can drive positive changes, enhance sector sustainability, and align aquaculture practices with broader sustainability goals.

In conclusion, the article presents a comprehensive and informed perspective on the challenges and opportunities in the African aquaculture industry. By addressing crucial aspects such as animal welfare, environmental impact, and overall sector sustainability, the article offers valuable insights for policymakers, stakeholders, and practitioners striving to develop a thriving and responsible aquaculture sector in Africa. Implementing the recommendations from this study could contribute to fostering a balanced and sustainable growth of aquaculture that respects the welfare of aquatic animals while preserving the environmental health.