Farm animal census to be revived in 2017
ANIMALS across Myanmar will be counted in a 2017 census to be jointly conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Breeding and Farming and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The census, which will take place from March to June 2017, will investigate the numbers of bulls, cows, pigs, swans, sheep, goats, turkeys and ducks in the country.
Presently, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation is coordinating a mini census in conjunction with the Myanmar government in six townships across Mandalay and Magwe.
“Farmers will be more prosperous if we systematically breed and trade animals,” said U Hla Htun, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Farming.
An animal survey of this magnitude has not been conducted in Myanmar since 1994.
The 2017 census, which will be more comprehensive than current measures, hopes to provide greater detail and insight into the country’s animal populations.
Currently animal populations are only collected by the Ministry of Home Affairs via township administrators for the purpose of ensuring food security, said U Htay Lynn Aung, a ministry official. The results are not collated or analysed in any way.
Aside from the providing more information about the population and wellbeing of livestock across the country, the government also hopes that the census will help them to tackle the illegal trade of cattle across Myanmar’s borders.
Currently cattle that should be banned from trade by Myanmar’s rules and regulations, as they are infected with diseases such as foot-in-mouth, are often illegally brought into the country.
According to U Hla Htun, the size of Myanmar’s borders as well as weak law enforcement capabilities in border areas are key impediments to stemming the flow of illegal, and possibly dangerous, cattle into the country.
It is hoped that the census will provide a clearer picture of cattle populations, thereby allowing authorities to more easily identify illegal imports.