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Zoetis to distribute livestock, poultry vaccine

Zoetis, one of the world’s largest producers of medicine and vaccination for animals, has received a vaccine registration approval from the Government of Ethiopia.

Ethiopia, with the second largest population in Africa, has also the largest livestock population in Africa. Hence, the demand for livestock and livestock products is set to increase extensively in the coming years. According to a report released in 2018, there are about 60 million cattle’s, more than 30 million sheep’s and goats, 4.5 million camels and more than 50 million poultry.

Though Ethiopia has a huge livestock population, the productivity remains relatively marginal. For this, “Poor availability of modern diagnostics and treatment for livestock,” can be taken as one factor.

Regarding this, Zoetis with African Livestock Productivity and Health Advancement (ALPHA) initiative, is working towards livestock productivity improvement; receiving the necessary approval from the Government of Ethiopia.

It is the first company to be registered in the country and has partnered with Jimma University, Elfora and Ethio Chicken.

Zoetis with annual revenue of USD 4.9-5.4 billion, works to support veterinarians and animal producers. It is co-funded by the bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

With 60years of experience, the company has 300 product lines, with five major product categories. Namely, anti-invectives, vaccines, parasitic ides, medicated feed additives and other pharmaceutical products.

On the launch event held on Friday, September 20, 2019, Zoetis has announced some of the key poultry vaccines which have received registration approvals in Ethiopia, together with diagnostic kits that will be available for local use in the near future from the National Animal Health Diagnostic and Investigation Center (NAHDIC).

For NAHDIC to approve this registration, it undergoes more than 20 technical signatories including Detection of AI V and H5 – H7 sub-type influenza viruses using real time PCR and Detection of NDV in clinical samples using conventional PCR.

According to the information from NAHDIC, there are 14 Veterinary laboratories in Ethiopia. Regarding Veterinary diagnostic kits in Ethiopia, almost all the kits used by the laboratories are imported.

Erik Mijten, veterinary affairs manager ALPHA told The Reporter that ALPHA Initiative is active in four Sub-Saharan countries, which are Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

Explaining about the registration, Mijten said that “This is an excellent opportunity, because it’s a very strong country in agriculture, having the largest cattle population in Africa and of course a growing population,” adding, “We are here not only to cure but also to prevent diseases and for that we have invested a lot in research of good vaccines.”

“As a first step, we brought 20 products which will help the poultry farmers and other farmers to prevent diseases in such way that there will be less disease and fewer animals dying there off.”

Asked about the registration process, Mijten said that the process took more than a year.

“People with higher income will ask for quality food, as quality food is coming from farmers, the livestock production should go up, and from that perspective we are here, explained Mijten.

According to Taye Yirgu (PhD), Zoetis consultant in Ethiopia, the vaccines that were registered are 10 in number and these vaccines will be distributed to places where there are poultry farms located around Bishoftu and Adama.

The Reporter has learnt that Al Impex is in charge of the distribution of the vaccines.