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Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, has said that the Government is exploring the possibility of implanting microchips in farm animals to ensure traceability of meat at all times.
He said that this technique is already being used in some countries around the world and Jamaica is looking into its use.
Dr. Tufton was responding to questions from farmers in Trelawny, regarding initiatives to reduce praedial larceny, especially of farm animals, at a community meeting held on Tuesday (March 23) at Breezes Trelawny Hotel.
“We have engaged some consultants; (the process) actually started before my time and they have done a report, which has outlined how it should be done and the pilot phase, which would include looking at the larger livestock cattle,” Minister Tufton told the farmers.
He noted, however, that the funding to begin implementation of the project is not available at this time.
Speaking with journalists after the meeting, Dr. Tufton argued that implanting microchips in animals, will not on its own, solve the praedial larceny problem.
“There is an entire process that has to be engaged, which is going to have to be grounded in the traceability of our foods, including our livestock,” he stated.
He cited the registration of farmers and animals, transportation logistics, and the receipt book system, as being part of the process to help in tracking all foods and meats and to ensure the health, safety, and phytosanitary standards that are fundamental to trading.