The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) announced that it has vaccinated 7,717,000 sheep, goats, and other cattle against highly contagious diseases that caused economic losses in 2020. This figure represents a noticeable 20 percent increase over 2019, despite the movement restrictions in 2020 due to COVID-19 precautionary measures.
Notably, MOCCAE runs a year-long animal vaccination drive in collaboration with key local authorities, as part of the free veterinary services it offers to livestock breeders in its 20 veterinary clinics across the UAE. These clinics comprise 735 veterinarians, including 324 that specialize in animal health, 398 in food safety, and 13 in veterinary labs.
His Excellency Eng Saif Al Shara, Assistant Undersecretary for the Sustainable Communities Sector and Acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Food Diversity Sector at MOCCAE, said: “Maintaining the health of local livestock is crucial to achieving the national priority of enhancing food security and sustainability. To ensure this priority is met, we joined forces with the local authorities to develop a national animal health plan, based on the criteria of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The plan aims to enhance the status of animal health in the UAE and strengthen the confidence of trade partners in the UAE’s animal products. This will help the UAE’s products to make further inroads into new markets.”
The vaccination drive targets four highly contagious diseases: foot and mouth disease, peste des petits ruminants, brucellosis, and sheep and goat pox. In addition, the Ministry’s clinics treated 1,954,722 animals in 2019 and 1,751,841 animals in 2020 for non-communicable diseases.
The UAE has aligned its animal health efforts with the OIE-endorsed programs: the Progressive Control Pathway for Foot and Mouth Disease (PCP-FMD) and the Progressive Control of Peste des Petits Ruminants (PCP-PRR). Currently, the UAE has effectively controlled the spread of both diseases and aims to vaccinate 80 percent of the targeted animal populations.
Veterinary extension services
MOCCAE offers integrated extension services to farmers through multiple platforms, including the dedicated app Mazaareana – a one-stop gateway to UAE-specific information on agricultural and livestock breeding requirements and processes for farmers. The user-friendly app allows farmers to apply for an extension of MOCCAE’s agricultural and veterinary services, such as animal treatment and vaccination, and also track the progress of their applications. Furthermore, farmers can communicate directly with agricultural and veterinary specialists through the app.