Since antiquity, animal diseases in Africa have had an impact on wildlife, livestock and human settlement patterns. Food security, sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity can all be adversely affected by the inadequate control of animal diseases. While the responsibility of disease control globally lies with the government of each country, in the African context resources and the capacity to control animal diseases vary considerably from country to country.
The spreading of diseases across international borders, particularly where partner countries are aiming to establish TFCAs, needs to be carefully monitored and controlled. Peace Parks Foundation, through its TFCA Veterinary Programme (TFCA-VP), supports TFCA partner countries in the integration and coordination of their disease control strategies.
The TFCA-VWP programme is currently managed by the Centre for Veterinary Wildlife Studies of the University of Pretoria. The aims and objectives of the TFCA-VWP are to provide research and consultative support across all regional TFCAs.
Veterinary Control Policies
The TFCA-VWP regularly participates in discussions between government veterinary authorities and other government organisations regarding veterinary and related policies to manage transboundary disease risks and to promote integrated and/or complementary disease control policies within and between countries.
Research and surveillance networks
An MoU with the University of Pretoria, SANParks and other institutions allows access to vast research networks, infrastructure and expertise, enabling the analysis of disease risks at the wildlife/livestock/human interface.
The TFCA-VWP also participates in formal and informal networks relevant to important veterinary issues in TFCAs, particularly those related to bovine tuberculosis and foot-and-mouth disease.
This project investigated the best utilisation of existing vaccination schedules for FMD within a southern African context from an epidemiological context, and by developing new assays for some of the FMD serotypes, providing meaningful interpretation of laboratory results that will inform policy makers in the region. Two MSc students are currently registered under this project.
Support is under way for a project monitoring and assessing river health at TFCA level using apex predators such as crocodiles. Support for the battle against wildlife crime, specifically for the eRhODIS rhino horn DNA programme of the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory is being provided, and will be expanded. Support for a project supporting commodity-based trade in a regional country is being investigated
Hans Hoheisen Wildlife Research Station
Development partners Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, the University of Pretoria and Peace Parks Foundation re-opened the refurbished Hans Hoheisen Wildlife Research Station in August 2010. Subsequent significant upgrades to the station have been performed largely with financial assistance from Peace Parks Foundation, thanks to the donors listed below, and the University of Pretoria. Accommodation upgrades have allowed students of the University of Pretoria and elsewhere access to the Mnisi area, to both ‘One Health’ and related research projects, as well as clinical training at the Hluvukani Animal Health Centre. Laboratory upgrades are currently under way to increase the research functionality at the station.
The EIA process has been completed, and the station has been granted permission to develop according to the original scoping and development programmes. In addition, a regional MSc that focuses on TFCAs, to be based at the research station, is under development.
Visit this website for more information on the research station's work