VETS UNITED in Rwanda
Animal Welfare training for official veterinarians
Situation of Animal Welfare and Animal Welfare Education in Rwanda
Compared to other VETS UNITED project countries, the small country of Rwanda in Eastern Africa has a relatively large number of vets and VPPs, who provide veterinary care for about 5 million farm animals. In Rwanda, as in many developing countries, the majority of people work in the agricultural sector.
Even though animal welfare is part of the university education, often in combination with animal husbandry, it is taught insufficiently due to the lack of necessary expertise. Also a systematic continuous professional development (CPD) programme does not exist yet. Typical animal welfare issues in Rwanda are, for example, insufficient veterinary care as well as poor housing and feeding conditions.
Facts and figures
Focus: Animal Welfare in professional training/ CPD (Continuous Professional Development)
Project manager: Flora Muragijemariya
Start of the programme: 2018
Partners: NVVH New Vision Veterinary Hospital, Musanze
Target groups: Vets and Paravets
Course: Animal Welfare Training Workshops based on the WTS VETS UNITED Animal Welfare Training Guide
General conditions in the country: 457 vets, 3.199 VPPs (RCVD, 2022); 13 million farm animals (of which 1.3 million cattle (FAO statistics 2022); 26,340 km2 area of Rwanda (Germany: 357,580 km2); approx. 12.6 million population 2020 (Germany: approx. 83.7 Mio.)
Development of the project
The project in cooperation with New Vision Veterinary Hospital is the second CPD project under the VETS UNITED programme, besides Uganda. The project is based on the Train-the-trainer concept – qualifying veterinarians from the field who then train their colleagues.
In the first year, official veterinarians from 5 districts of Rwanda received theoretical training in animal welfare. Due to the Corona pandemic, the practical units continued in 2021. Since May 2022, together with our partners from the New Vision Veterinary Hospital, the trainers have been training private veterinarians and VPPs in their respective districts on the topic of animal welfare.
Long-term the animal welfare trainings will be offered as part of a mandatory continuing education programme of the Rwandan Veterinary Association. Practicing veterinarians will then have to attend a certain number of trainings every year in order to keep their work permit.