JIS News

The Ministry of Agriculture is reporting that the Classical Swine Fever has not entered Jamaica.
The animal disease, which decimated pig farms in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba, has been kept out of the country through strict measures.
Speaking with JIS News, Veterinary Officer at the Veterinary Services Division of the Ministry, Dr. O. Watson said that by using a combination of quarantine measures, surveillance and regulatory restrictions, Jamaica was able to safeguard the pig industry.
“We control the import of animals by way of animal permit.this is the Veterinary Import Permit,” explained Dr. Watson.
He added that even when pigs are brought in through permits, they must still go through a period of quarantine. At the veterinary quarantine complex, they are held and observed for any signs of sickness.
After quarantine, the pigs are still kept under surveillance. Field Officers traverse the country and examine both local and imported pigs, including sick pigs and pigs under suspicion of sickness, Dr. Watson pointed out.
The other security measure involves regulatory restrictions. “We do not allow pigs, pig products nor pig semen from countries with swine disease to enter the country,” he emphasized. That explains why pork products are sometimes allowed in from another country and at other times they are banned.
The most recent pigs to successfully pass quarantine and surveillance are the upgraded genetic breeds – Landrace and Large White – imported from Canada.
“These two breeds are efficient feed converters, in other words, they put on more body weight per pound of feed,” Dr. Watson pointed out.
They are currently based on the compound of the Bodles Research Station in St. Catherine.