Ethiopia has the largest livestock population in Africa, making a considerable contribution to the livelihood of Ethiopian people and to the wider economy. However, zoonotic diseases threaten the performance and potential benefits of this vast livestock sector. Emerging zoonotic diseases, such as bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis and anthrax that have acquired global significance seriously affect the livestock sector in the country. A number of policies and regulations have been designed in order to prevent and control the transmission of animal and zoonotic diseases in Ethiopia. This paper documents the key policy provisions and institutions involved in these initiatives and identifies entry points for the design of specific implementable strategies for the control of bovine tuberculosis (bTB): a disease that is endemic among cattle in Ethiopia and particularly highly prevalent in its dairy sector. The analysis of this study is based on a review of existing documentation carried out in 2017. The results indicate: (i) the existence of various policy provisions for disease prevention and control but with limited recognition of different disease transmission pathways including ‘animal to animal’, ‘animal to human’, and ‘human to animal; (ii) that these policies and regulations only provide a general framework without specifying the interventions related to specific disease types such as bTB; (iii) that different institutions are given similar tasks and that there is no strong coordination mechanism among the institutions in terms of fulfilling these tasks and avoiding the duplication of effort; and (iv) that more attention has been given to policies on human health, especially relating to selected priority diseases. These trends imply the need to design and implement strategic interventions in the prevention and control of bTB transmission both within the animal population and from the animal to the human population.
Key words: Bovine tuberculosis, Ethiopia, policy, zoonoses.
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