ACIAR’s investments in animal health and production will largely focus on issues that enable smallholder farmers to refine their livestock management toward production and income-generation, in contrast to ‘keeping’ livestock solely as an asset. These issues include aspects of the market such as prices; seasonal trends; product quality and market access (including biosecurity) to reduce the risks involved in moving from a household-based to a market economy. Development of health programs for country-species-disease combinations and other livestock husbandry technologies will be considered where clear institutional pathways for adoption of the results of research by smallholders exist and where Australia has experience and expertise. Animal Health has a focus on the following themes, with the emphasis on diseases of regional significance:
- Transboundary diseases
- Zoonotic diseases
- Diseases affecting production
- Diseases affecting trade and market access
The impacts derived will be reduced disease-control costs, improved animal productivity, improved product quality and improved market access. Increasingly the emphasis will shift from production-related diseases to those of national and regional importance (usually rapidly spreading viral disease) and those affecting trade and human health. Within each theme, ACIAR will address gaps in the successful management of a disease and may include defining the disease issue or problem, understanding the biology of the disease (epidemiology, modelling), improving the ability to detect diseases (pathology, refinement of old tests, development of new tests or platforms), application of diagnostic tests to disease surveillance systems and refinement of these systems and development and application of control measures. For further information on the program research themes and priority research areas, refer to the attached fact sheet.