Livestock production and animal health management systems in communal farming areas at the wildlife-livestock interface in South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Webb, E.C. (Edward Cottington)
dc.contributor.advisor Coetzer, Jacobus A.W.
dc.contributor.postgraduate Van Rooyen, Jacques
dc.coverage.spatial South Africa
dc.date.accessioned 2017-04-28T10:58:20Z
dc.date.available 2017-04-28T10:58:20Z
dc.date.created 2017
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.description Thesis (PhD)--University of Pretoria, 2017. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract Development of transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) in southern Africa depends, among other, on the ability of stakeholders to find practical and sustainable solutions for wildlife‐livestock integration in the conservation landscape. Due to the presence of buffalo Syncerus caffer in most of the TFCAs in southern Africa, foot‐and‐mouth disease (FMD) has to be controlled in susceptible livestock species sharing the rangelands with wildlife. Conventional FMD control measures act as an additional burden on communal livestock producers and may hamper rural development and wildlife‐livestock integration even further. However, commodity‐based trade in the form of an integrated approach to the control of both food safety and disease risk along the entire beef value chain has been proposed as a more favourable alternative for ensuring market access for beef produced at the wildlife‐livestock interface. Such a non‐geographic based approach could allow for trade to continue despite high risk of FMD if appropriate disease risk and food safety measures are implemented by farmers and subsequent role players along the value chain and hence, could promote greater wildlife‐livestock compatibility. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract The objective of the present study was to analyse beef production, health and trade systems of farmers at the wildlife‐livestock interface within foot‐and‐mouth disease (FMD) protection zones in order to identify challenges, risks and limitations that may limit compliance with proposed commodity‐based trade prerequisites as well as value chain participation. Based on the findings of this study a holistic, integrated approach is proposed at the village level that could be implemented to serve as an incentive for equitable participation by farmers whilst 1) addressing the risks and limitations of a farming system, 2) ensuring greater wildlife‐livestock compatibility, and 3) promote consistent market access by fulfilling the requirements of an integrated value chain approach based on commodity‐based trade standards. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract A farming systems approach was used to investigate beef production, health and trade systems in FMD protection zones mainly within the Zambezi Region (ZR) of Namibia, which is situated within the KAZA TFCA (Kavango‐Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area), but also the Mnisi study area (MSA) in South Africa adjacent to the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA). A combined qualitative and quantitative approach was used to assess and describe farmers’ perceptions in selected study areas about beef production, trade, and wildlife conservation. Secondary data obtained from state veterinary services, the Meatco abattoir in Katima Mulilo, as well as previous studies were analysed and modelled to describe spatial‐temporal trends in trade as well as cattle distribution in relation to resource availability. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract The results indicate that beef production systems in some of the most remote areas of the ZR as well as in the MSA resemble a typical low‐input low‐output production system, mainly due to the high level of risk farmers had to cope with and the limited opportunity to offset losses. The major challenges within livestock farming in all the areas studied were animal diseases, grazing competition, predation, stock theft and contact with wildlife, although the importance of each varied between study areas. Herd size effect in the MSA significantly explained the variation in attitude towards trade, production and management of cattle between farmers with below average and farmers with above average herd sizes. In the MSA, home slaughter contributed significantly more to direct household food security in households with larger herd sizes than in households with smaller herd sizes, and in the ZR farmers with smaller herd sizes were discouraged from participation in formal trade. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract The attitudes and perceptions of farmers In the ZR towards wildlife and conservation often varied between survey areas as a consequence of the variation in the geophysical properties of the landscape, proximity to conservation areas, as well as the form of the interface with conservation areas. The perceived spatial‐temporal movement of buffalo varied between survey areas in the ZR. However, the frequency and nature of buffalo‐cattle interaction was generally high and intimate. Most farmers associated buffalo with risk of disease, especially FMD, but some were more concerned about grazing competition and the negative effect on husbandry practises. Farmers readily deployed traditional risk mitigation tactics in the form of kraaling at night and herding at day to control the movement of their animals and to reduce risks. Herding was found to be a potential strategy to specifically mitigate cattlebuffalo contact despite the lack of evidence that an overall strategic approach to herding exist. Although the majority of farmers in the ZR were in favour of conservation and its benefits, the negative impact of increasing wildlife numbers on farmers’ attitudes was an indication that the generally positive sentiment was changing and may in future deter conservation efforts. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract Indications are that the cattle population in the ZR at its estimated density and distribution had reached the ecological capacity of the natural resource base in the ZR and animal performance and survival was therefore subjected to increased variability in resource availability linked to climate change. The cattle population’s existence at ecological capacity and the inability of farmers to offset the loss of condition in the dry season with supplementary feed were reflected in the changes in carcass quality and grades across seasons. However, there was sufficient forage produced in the ZR to sustain animal performance to some extent throughout the year, but those areas with surplus forage existed beyond the assumed grazing range around villages and perennial rivers where most cattle and wildlife concentrate. The future ability of farmers to access such underutilised grazing resources in order to strategically counter the negative consequences of climate change and growing wildlife numbers could be an important coping and risk management mechanism linked to commodity‐based trade and sustained animal quality. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract Regular FMD outbreaks had a significant impact on the consistency with which the Meatco abattoir in the ZR operated between the years 2007‐2011, with negative consequences to both farmers and the abattoir itself. It was found that the formal trade system in the ZR discriminated against farmers with below average herd sizes, and that the disposition held by farmers with smaller herd sizes are most significant in areas further than approximately 55km away from quarantine camps. Vegetation type and possible contact with buffalo or previous FMD outbreaks in the area did not significantly affect market participation nor off‐take rates at a crush‐pen level in the ZR. The negative effect that distance from a quarantine station had on formal off‐take rate and the level of sales to Meatco at crush‐pen level, was the most significant in the winter months and crush‐pens situated beyond 55km from a quarantine station. The results indicate that the trade range of the Meatco abattoir was less than its trade threshold which contributed to its struggle to sustain throughput and profitability. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract Finally the loss of income farmers experienced in both the ZR and the MSA during simultaneous FMD outbreaks in the year 2012 was quantified, as well as the impact it had on livelihoods in the ZR. A commodity‐based trade approach may have reduced the impact on farmers’ income significantly. However, we farmers are unable to comply with the proposed requirements for mitigating risk and ensuring food safety and quality in such communal systems in the absence of interventions to build the necessary capacity and awareness. It is recommended that at the wildlife‐livestock interface such as those investigated in this study, an integrated value chain approach to trade could serve as a catalyst to incentivise and enable farmer participation in holistic, integrated rangeland and livestock management practises that will promote conservation and rural development. en_ZA
dc.description.availability Unrestricted en_ZA
dc.description.degree PhD en_ZA
dc.description.department Veterinary Tropical Diseases en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship The Institute for Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship University of Pretoria en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship National Research Foundation of South Africa en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Van Rooyen, J 2016, Livestock production and animal health management systems in communal farming areas at the wildlife-livestock interface in South Africa, PhD Thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd <http://hdl.handle.net/2263/60128> en_ZA
dc.identifier.other A2017
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/60128
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher University of Pretoria
dc.rights © 2016 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria. en_ZA
dc.subject UCTD en_ZA
dc.subject Communal cattle farming en_ZA
dc.subject Wildlife-livestock interface en_ZA
dc.subject Human-wildlife conflict en_ZA
dc.subject Commodity-based trade en_ZA
dc.subject Foot-and-mouth disease control en_ZA
dc.title Livestock production and animal health management systems in communal farming areas at the wildlife-livestock interface in South Africa en_ZA
dc.type Thesis en_ZA


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