Equine Health Update EHU Vol 20 Issue 01 - Page 39

EQUINE | SAVC News The Role of Animal Health Technicians Animal health technicians [AHTs] play an important role in the animal health sector (both in public- [government] and in private sectors). AHTs fulfil a critical role as they are responsible for primary animal health care [PAHC] and extension to resource poor communities and they are mainly responsible for animal health related duties [disease surveillance] under the Animal Disease Act, Act 35 of 1984. William Kutu Councillor (AHT Representative) DUTIES OF AN ANIMAL HEALTH TECHNICIAN The main duties of an animal health technician are to ensure a healthy, productive and reproductive livestock and animalpopulation in South Africa by means of the following: • prevent, control and eradicate animal diseases through disease investigation; • sampling, collecting & evaluating epidemiological data • implementing sound animal health strategies; • veterinary extension; and • primary animal health care activities. AHTs are trained to deal with challenges facing both animal- and human diseases. QUALIFICATIONS SECTOR AND EMPLOYMENT AHTs are the holders of amongst other qualifications • Diploma Animal Health • National Diploma Animal Health • B.Sc., Agric. (Animal Health) • B.Tech Animal Health • Masters degrees • PhDs AHTs are mostly employed in state veterinary services BACKGROUND The animal health sector is faced with, amongst others, challenges which impact negatively on food security and safety of the country: • The rise in emerging [new] flood of infectious • Volume 20 Issue 1 | April 2018 • 39