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As the Government seeks to boost meat safety initiatives, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is to model a processing structure for local consumers.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, says that certified slaughter facilities will be established to cater to the formal meat trade.

Dr. Tufton was addressing the official launch of World Veterinary Year, as the profession celebrated its 250th year anniversary at the Mona Visitors Lodge, University of the West Indies (UWI), Kingston, on Wednesday (February 15).

“This year, hopefully, we intend to break ground for the first government initiated public/private partnership multipurpose abattoir, under a programme we are pursuing with the Inter-American Development Bank,” he said.

“We are working currently with a few private entities… to help them to upgrade their facilities…to the standards acceptable, regionally and internationally, to help them in terms of the health and safety issues,” he noted.

Dr. Tufton stated that a study conducted by the Ministry has revealed that there were more than 1100 abattoirs in operation, using varying standards of food safety.

He said that there is discussion among traders trying to ensure security in advancing the wellbeing of mankind, and much more needs to be done in terms of the health and safety standards. 

He said veterinarians have an important role to play in environmental and trade related issues, and commended them for their contributions.

President of the Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Sarah Eytle, said the profession stands as the guardian of the health of the planet, “through our attention to the health and wellbeing of all creatures."

                                                           

CONTACT: CHRIS PATTERSON