Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) and the World Society Protection signed a memorandum of agreement (MoU) last week for a collaboration in the development of animal welfare in the tertiary education sector in Namibia.
PoN Rector, Professor Tjama Tjivikua, said that this project will focus on producing competent manpower that would be able to produce trained personnel with high quality knowledge and skills that with regard to animal welfare. These expertise, he said, would have to befit the needs and aspirations of employment in livestock and animal husbandry sector.
“The Polytechnic of Namibia has established procedures and timetables for regular reviews of the various curricula. Thus, the next round of curriculum review in the agriculture department will accommodate animal welfare education. The relevant course will target other members of the public, including veterinarians and Para-veterinarians, extension personnel, animal owners, wildlife ranchers, animal welfare groups and public healthcare providers as well as livestock keepers,” Tjivikua said.
He also acknowledged the importance of agriculture in the country, especially the animal farms, which constitute a lifeline of every Namibian, “There are 2.1 million inhabitants and a livestock count of 54.7 millions animals - and we are in competition for food supply globally.”
He added that the escalating food demand is caused by the high population worldwide. Therefore, he suggested that governments adopt economic policy strategies to offset the imbalance or deficit in food supply in future.
“The policies would be to ensure that food sufficiency and long-term security are attained by all countries. However, the emerging global trends have seen increased intensified farming systems as opposed to the extensive ones. As a result, there are over 60 billion animals kept for food every year and the majority suffers in industrial systems where they are crammed together and are unable to behave naturally, they may never see a blade of grass, breath fresh air or feel sunlight on their bodies,” he said.
Such a concept contravenes the freedom of animals, which can range from freedom from hunger to discomfort and pain.
On the other hand, compliance with such freedoms of animals will enhance the quality of productivity and increase wealth generation as well as provide competitive advantage of Namibia’s beef products in the international market.