The meetings with private sector stakeholders were limited to the two major commercial organizations, MBN and NAU. It was explained that it was very difficult to schedule meetings with other relevant organizations e.g. of the Communal Farmers Union, as they were not organized in the same way, meaning that they do not have central office facilities.
Although there are two regional laboratories currently functional, only the CVL was visited. This was due to the time constraint, but also because these laboratories only undertake a smaller number of the sample analyses.
Of big interest was a site visit to the VCF, which has played an important role in maintaining FMD and CBPP free zones in the south. This visit was accomplished as part of a three day trip to the northern region.
During the northern region visit, the team had the opportunity to visit a private veterinary practice; the VCF and its crossing gate; a visit to a communal farm and one of their families; a trip to one of the quarantine farms, and a private farm immediately south of the VCF. The team also had the opportunity to travel through the Etosha National Park when accessing the northern region.
The visit to the VCF crossing at Oshivelo allowed the team to witness how the heavy vehicle traffic is checked by a team of AHW. Transit permits and content of shipments are checked. While the inspections appeared adequate, the day of the visit, a local newspaper reported on how a high level police officer had used his status to illegally transport elephant and hippo meat across one of the crossing point and was later detained.
A local communal farm was visited north of the fence. This gave the team the opportunity to see the different livestock management and to meet and discuss animal health and animal identification issues with one of the communal families. The family kept over 200 head of cattle and some 100 goats, which were grazed with the animals of other neighbours in common pastoral land.
Travelling to the quarantine fence allowed the team to drive 50 km along the VCF and witness the fence in detail. It is an impressive 900 km long double game and stock fence, with a 10 mt. separation between the two fences. The team travelled between the two fences to reach Oshivelo Quarantine Farm. This farm (one of three) has been operational since the 80s and is devoted to house animals from the surveillance zone (north of the VCF) for a minimum of 21 days prior to going to slaughter. The farm visited had an impressive total surface of 27,000 hectares and contained ten pens of over 2,000 hectares each, all separated by double fences from each other. The farm was managed by 6 AHT and was in direct electronic contact with the SVO for the submission of animal identification and animal health matters. Animals are brought in by their owners and kept for the quarantine period while managed by their own herdsmen and supervised by DVS personnel. It was an