JIS News

Some $13.5 million will be granted to the Ministry of Agriculture to implement a surveillance and prevention plan for the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) commonly known as ‘Bird Flu’.
Information Minister, Senator Burchell Whiteman, informed journalists at this week’s post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House that, “the provision is in support of the continuing successful efforts to protect against the potential damage to the poultry industry from the disease”.
He said that Cabinet was conscious of the fact that the Ministries of Agriculture and Health have been implementing measures to protect the poultry stock and the general human population, against the disease.
“The message that is being conveyed is that Jamaica is at the moment totally safe from this particular danger. The government is also taking all possible steps to ensure that we remain so. We are in no danger but we are taking all steps to keep free of any infestation,” Senator Whiteman stated.
He pointed to law, which gives the Ministry of Agriculture, through its Veterinary Services Division, the legal authority to regulate the importation of live animals and products of animal origin into Jamaica.
The Ministry, he said, has exercised its authority over the years, to prevent the introduction of diseases such as Newcastle diseases in poultry, the West Nile virus, Avian Influenza and Duck Viral Enteritis.
“At the moment, the Ministry is taking particular care with its imports as it has always done, but even to the point where if there are certain places in the United States of America where there is any question, the Ministry has ceased imports from these quarters,” Senator Whiteman said.

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