One of the presentations described the Food Animal Biosecurity Network (FABN), a collaborative project between James Cook University (JCU), and the SPC Animal Health and Production team, aimed at enhancing animal health field and laboratory capabilities of Pacific Island countries and territories. The project will initially focus on four countries — Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea — to implement project activities over the next two years.
The project also supports research into brucellosis and livestock movement risk assessments, which two PhD candidates, Dr Aurelie Brioudes, a veterinarian, and SPC Animal Health Technical Officer, Mr Andrew Tukana, are undertaking. They came to the workshop and made a presentation of their research for the FNU students.
The FABN project hopes to involve the DAH students in field surveys to help develop their skills in the effective delivery of livestock surveys. Dr Brioudes provided notes on the methodology and emphasized key points in the effective conduct of farm-market surveys and farmer interviews. As a practical exercise, students were provided with copies of the survey questionnaire and they will trial it by conducting farmer and market-vendor interviews over the next two weeks. The students’ feedback on the interview and survey process will be used to improve the methodology and effective delivery of the FABN livestock movement risk assessment survey in the four identified countries.