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Solomon Islands Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Providing Veterinary Consultations for Poultry and Pig Farmers with Pacific Partnership Veterinary Team

02 September 2022

From Leslie Hull-Ryde, Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific

SOLOMON ISLANDS - The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL), with support from a team of Pacific Partnership 2022 (PP22) veterinarians and vet technicians, is leading an outreach effort to support poultry and pig farmers with basic veterinary care for their livestock. The mission focuses on the health and welfare of pigs, chickens, goats, ducks, dogs and cats – all of which impact the overall health of the community.

The combined team of MAL and PP22 professionals had visited identified lead piggeries and poultry farms at the outskirts of Honiara and parts of Guadalcanal on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. During each stop they have inspected the facilities and animals and discussed with farmers ideas to improve animal health and productivity. In addition, the MAL-PP group also visited two area slaughterhouses, evaluating food and personnel safety, sanitation and possible ways to refine these efforts.

Findings from the site visits will be shared with both the Poultry Farmers Association and Pig Farmers Association. Those exchanges will include common management and welfare considerations and how to prevent and mitigate common diseases associated with each animal. In addition, outreach to farmers in the provinces will be done via MAL’s radio program – Famas Kona – on SIBC. Similarly, common issues identified during the assessments will be discussed through the program so farmers in the provinces can understand how to deal with these issues if they too encounter them at their farms.

As part of the partnership, both the Solomon Islands and U.S. professionals will discuss how to identify diseases in animals, including diseases that transmit from humans to animals or vice versa; how to prevent new diseases from entering the country; and preventing diseases from spreading to areas in the country where they are not currently seen.

“Animals – particularly these — are found in communities all around the world, and we all have different knowledge about raising animals. We are excited about this opportunity to learn from each other and support the farmers of the Solomon Islands,” said U.S. Army veterinarian Capt. Katie Stewart.

The veterinary component of Pacific Partnership wraps up with two days of general consultations for dogs and cats. During physical examinations, PP vets can identify and help address skin issues, ear issues, diarrhoea, and deworming for stomach worms.

“I’m grateful for the opportunities that the Pacific Partnership brings to the farmers of the Solomon Islands, where we currently lack veterinary services. We hope to take advantage of this chance to get as much information as possible to improve veterinary care in the country. MAL would also like to acknowledge the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the South Korean government and Delivery Associates (DA) for its funding of advisor Jasmin Johnson and team, who have been instrumental in supporting MAL to work with this group”, said Permanent Secretary Ethel Tebengi Frances, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

Now in its 17th year, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. In Honiara, the Pacific Partnership 2022 team is comprised of representatives from Australia, Japan, and the United States. PP22 events are coordinated with the host nation and are planned based on the requirements and requests of Solomon Islands. Engagements in Honiara will include medical care and exchanges, engineering projects, discussions on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and community outreach events, including band concerts and sporting events.

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