State Minister for Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green, says Jamaica has an integrated plan in place to ensure the country’s preparedness for any outbreak of exotic animal diseases and threats.
He said that the plan, which is managed by the National Emergency Animal Disease Committee (NEADCOM), is in accordance with Jamaica’s Animals (disease and importation) Law, and consistent with the guidelines of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
The role of NEADCOM is to promulgate policies and coordinate inputs of different government ministries and other agencies in the prevention, control and eradication of foreign animal diseases.
“We have also invested in the provision of laboratory services and a traceability system to enhance disease surveillance and monitoring, to ensure the highest levels of compliance in good agricultural practices,” Mr. Green added.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony for the 25th Seminar on Harmonisation of Registration and Control of Veterinary Medicines at the Royalton White Sands hotel in Falmouth, Trelawny, on Monday (September 23).
The one-week conference, organised by the Americas Committee on Veterinary Medicines (CAMVET), aims to facilitate the harmonisation of standards, registries and controls of veterinary drugs among its member countries.
The State Minister, during his address, called on major players in the veterinary medical profession and stakeholders in the livestock subsector, including producers, importers and distributors, to recognise the importance of detecting and managing animal diseases.
He said that the Government is aware that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an increasingly serious threat to global health, which requires action across all sectors and society.
AMR occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change and become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat the infections they cause.
The State Minister urged regions affected by the highest levels of AMR to take immediate steps to preserve the efficacy of antimicrobials that are essential in human medicine by restricting their use in animal production.
According to the WHO, approximately 490,000 people developed multidrug-resistant tuberculosis globally in 2016, and drug resistance is starting to complicate the fight against several diseases, including HIV and malaria in humans and myriad diseases in animals.
Some 200 participants from CAMVET member states in the Americas are participating in the seminar, which concludes on September 27.
The event is being held for the first time in the English-speaking Caribbean.