TFCA Veterinary Wildlife Programme (TFCA-VWP)
Since antiquity, animal diseases in Africa have had an impact on wildlife, livestock and human settlement patterns. Food security, sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity can all be adversely affected by the inadequate control of animal diseases. While the responsibility of disease control globally lies with the government of each country, in the African context resources and the capacity to control animal diseases vary considerably from country to country.
The spreading of diseases across international borders, particularly where partner countries are aiming to establish TFCAs, needs to be carefully monitored and controlled. Peace Parks Foundation, through its TFCA Veterinary Wildlife Programme (TFCA-VWP), supports TFCA partner countries in the integration and coordination of their disease control strategies.
The TFCA-VWP programme is currently managed by the Centre for Veterinary Wildlife Studies of the University of Pretoria. The aims and objectives of the TFCA-VWP are to provide research and consultative support across all regional TFCAs.

Veterinary Control Policies

The TFCA-VWP regularly participates in discussions between government veterinary authorities and other government organisations regarding veterinary and related policies to manage transboundary disease risks and to promote integrated and/or complementary disease control policies within and between countries.

Research and surveillance networks

An MoU with the University of Pretoria, SANParks and other institutions allows access to vast research networks, infrastructure and expertise, enabling the analysis of disease risks at the wildlife/livestock/human interface.

The TFCA-VWP also participates in formal and informal networks relevant to important veterinary issues in TFCAs, particularly those related to bovine tuberculosis and foot-and-mouth disease.

Project support

© Dr Louis van Schalkwyk
© Dr Louis van Schalkwyk
Financial and logistical support is currently provided to a foot-and-mouth disease project in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. This project investigated the best utilisation of existing vaccination schedules for FMD within a southern African context from an epidemiological context, and by developing new assays for some of the FMD serotypes, providing meaningful interpretation of laboratory results that will inform policy makers in the region. Two MSc students are currently registered under this project.

Support is under way for a project monitoring and assessing river health at TFCA level using apex predators such as crocodiles. Support to counter wildlife crime, specifically for the eRhODIS rhino horn DNA programme of the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory is being provided, and will be expanded.  A study that will allow for the trade in red meat according to commodity-based standards is also under way.

Hans Hoheisen Wildlife Research Station

Development partners Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, the University of Pretoria and Peace Parks Foundation re-opened the refurbished Hans Hoheisen Wildlife Research Station in August 2010. Subsequent significant upgrades to the station have been performed largely with financial assistance from Peace Parks Foundation, thanks to the donors listed below, and the University of Pretoria. Accommodation upgrades have allowed students of the University of Pretoria and elsewhere access to the Mnisi area, to both ‘One Health’ and related research projects, as well as clinical training at the Hluvukani Animal Health Centre. Laboratory upgrades increase the research functionality at the station.

The environmental impact study for the development of the Hans Hoheisen Wildlife Research Station was completed and permission was obtained to develop the bio- and chemical waste disposal extensions. A Section 20 approval was also obtained from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to be able to conduct and process biological specimens in the laboratories.

Visit this website for more information on the research station's work.

Donors supporting this programme