Improving Village Chicken Health to Promote Public Health and Decrease Bushmeat Hunting in the Makira Natural Park, Madagascar
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2014
Graham Crawford1,2, DVM, MPVM; Susan Ostapak1,2, DVM; Christopher Golden3,7, MPH, PhD; Brigitte Bagnol4,5, PhD; Robyn Alders5,6, BSC (Vet), BVSc, PhD
1San Francisco Zoo, San Francisco, CA, USA; 2Wildlife Health Network, Sonoma, CA, USA; 3Center for Health and the Global Environment, School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA; 4University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; 5International Rural Poultry Centre, Kyeema Foundation, Brisbane, Australia, and Maputo, Mozambique; 6Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia; 7HEAL (Health and Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages), Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY, USA


In the Makira Natural Park (MNP) in Northeastern Madagascar, wildlife is an important nutritional resource. People hunt animals to meet their own basic needs for survival. In the MNP, bushmeat hunting is occurring at unsustainable rates for many endangered species, including indri (Indri indri), black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata), brown lemurs (Eulemur spp.), and bamboo lemurs (Hapelemur griseus).5,6 One of the few assets owned by households are chickens, which could play a significant role to improve household nutrition and income, and reduce wildlife hunting if recurrent diseases could be controlled and chicken management could be improved.1,2,6 In 2011, we visited three communities in the MNP to understand the constraints to chicken production. Through participatory exercises, and health and husbandry evaluations, we determined that the main problem with chickens is Newcastle disease (ND).1 An important chicken disease worldwide, ND is best controlled with vaccination, though husbandry and biosecurity practices can reduce the risk of introduction of ND virus or reduce its spread once it has arrived. We reviewed quarantine and biosecurity, chick rearing and brooding hen management, parasite control, and nutrition.1,3 The remote location of the communities and the warm regional climate make it difficult to maintain a vaccine cold chain, necessitating a thermotolerant vaccine such as NDV4-HR and I-2 ND.4 At present neither of these vaccines is available in Madagascar. A vaccine campaign and poultry health education program, integrated with ecological education and monitoring, and bushmeat consumption monitoring is being planned for 2015.


This study was supported by the San Francisco Zoo Conservation Committee, Saint Louis Zoo Field Research for Conservation Program, and Wildlife Health Network.

Literature Cited

1.  Ahlers C, Alders R, Bagnol B, Cambaza A, Harun M, Mgomezulu R, Msami H, Pym B, Wegener P, Wethli E, Young M. Improving village chicken production: a manual for field workers and trainers. ACIAR Monograph No. 139. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research: Canberra, Australia; 2009.

2.  Alders RG, Pym RA. Village poultry: Still important to millions eight thousand years after domestication. Proc. World’s Poultry Congress, Brisbane, Australia; 2008.

3.  Alders RG, Bagnol B, Young MP. Technically sound and sustainable Newcastle disease control in village chickens: lessons learnt over fifteen years. World Poultry Sci J. 2010;66:443–440.

4.  Bell JG. A comparison of the different vaccines available for the control of Newcastle disease in village chickens. In: Alders RG, Spradbrow PB, eds. SADC Planning Workshop on Newcastle Disease Control in Village Chickens, Maputo, Mozambique. ACIAR Proceedings No. 103. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research: Canberra, Australia. 2001:56–60.

5.  Golden C. Bushmeat hunting and use in the Makira Forest, north-eastern Madagascar: a conservation and livelihoods issue. Oryx. 2009;43:386–392.

6.  Golden C, Fernald L, Brashares J, Rasolofoniaina B, Kremen C. Benefits of wildlife consumption to child nutrition in a biodiversity hotspot. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2011;108:13931–13936.


Speaker Information
(click the speaker's name to view other papers and abstracts submitted by this speaker)

Graham Crawford, DVM, MPVM
San Francisco Zoo
San Francisco, CA, USA

MAIN : AAZV Conference : Village Chicken Health to Promote Public Health
Powered By VIN