Prioritising animal health issues in Indonesia and beyond

23 November 2022
Supriani feeds fodder to her cattle inside the communal cattle shed in Karang Kendal hamlet

A recently launched ACIAR-funded project in Indonesia will trial a global framework to assess the societal impact of livestock diseases to inform future animal health investments. 

Led by the CSIRO, the research will utilise the Global Burden of Animal Diseases (GBADs) framework to improve the prioritisation of resource allocation for animal health, centred on the needs of smallholder farmers.

The test case will set a precedent for how other countries can use the framework to understand the overall societal cost of livestock diseases.

CSIRO will collaborate closely with Indonesia's National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) to generate knowledge on livestock population, biomass, and economic value to Indonesia to facilitate policy and national investment decisions.

ACIAR Research Program Manager, Livestock Systems, Dr Anna Okello said the work in Indonesia would provide a road map of the approach needed to deliver GBADs around the world.

'Poor animal health significantly impacts the livelihoods and wellbeing of smallholder farmers around the world,' Dr Okello said.

'GBADs is about helping governments identify the animal health challenges that will have the most significant impact on producers' livelihoods.'

‘Better understanding and coordination of animal health investments are critical to support decision-making and achieve a One Health vision,’ Dr Okello added.

‘The combination of expertise between Australia and Indonesia will set up protocols which can then be used to deliver improvements in animal health management around the world.’

CSIRO project leader Dr Dianne Mayberry said the research work was pivotal given the inconsistency of assessing the impact of livestock diseases worldwide.

‘We want to be able to quantify the losses and attribute them consistently, and this will be an outcome from the methods developed through the GBAD program,’ Dr Mayberry said.

‘At the end of the project, we want to be able to attribute those animal losses to causes, whether that is nutrient deficiency or management or infection with diseases or perhaps even an unknown cause.’

Dr Mayberry said it was important to note that not all losses were economic, with social impacts from animal health concerns.

‘We hope to provide recommendations on improved data collection, showing that this data can give a more accurate picture of animal health and its impacts.’

Dr NLP Indi Dharmayanti is the project leader in Indonesia and said the case study would look at 3 different production systems: poultry production in West Java, beef cattle production in East Java and pig production in East Nusa Tenggara.

‘The case study will encourage local ownership and input into the development of the GBADs framework in Indonesia,’ Dr Dharmayanti said.

‘It will collate datasets and generate improved knowledge of livestock population, biomass and economic value to Indonesia to facilitate policy and national investment decisions under the GBADs framework.

‘It will also estimate the animal health loss envelope for specified livestock production systems in Indonesia with methodological input from GBADs workstreams.

‘Finally, it will develop capacity for animal health economics through collaboration with other countries implementing the GBADs framework at the same time.’

Dr Dharmayanti said many potentially co-existing factors contribute to production losses, including disease, poor animal husbandry, ineffective breeding management, inadequate nutrition, inappropriate housing, and genetics.

‘We will identify the causes of production losses in these systems, including specific animal health syndromes and diseases,’ she said.

The new project, ‘Global Burden of Animal Disease Initiative: Indonesia Case Study’, is scheduled to run through to 2024. Learn more via the ACIAR website.