Officials at the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) last evening confiscated several dogs which entered Guyana illegally, breaching the authority’s quarantine regulations.
Such an act remains a serious one, as it can pose grave health threats to the nation at large; as some animals are often exposed to diseases which can be transferred to humans upon contact.
The confiscation exercise which was headed by GLDA’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Dwight Waldron saw five dogs being seized which came from Cuba without an import permit.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, George Jervis in an invited comment, condemned the illegal importation of animals, alluding to the fact that such practices do not augur well for Guyana’s agriculture and health sectors.
He added that there are statutes and regulations implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture’s quarantine department, and such rules must be followed.
“These are not rules which are implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture willy-nilly. These are rules which remain important. There is a reason we (GLDA) insist on animals being quarantined and that is to ensure they are not infected as these infections can then be transferred to other animals and humans,” Jervis said.
The GLDA at present has an ongoing campaign to ensure that Guyanese abide with its Animal Health and Safety laws. The campaign also reaches out to abattoirs to ensure that animals slaughtered are fit for human consumption.
The Permanent Secretary has echoed the call for maturity, by abiding with laws enacted by the Ministry of Agriculture through the GLDA.
Only recently, Ministers of Agriculture and Health, Noel Holder and Dr. George Norton respectively, attended a Ministerial meeting on Health and Agriculture in Asuncion, Paraguay where the nexus between animal and public health in its diverse eco-system were emphasised.
During the meeting, calls were made by the Guyanese counterparts, for good governance among all players involved in preventing and mitigating risks generated at the interface between people, animals and the environment.
Three of the dogs have since been euthanised, while the other two which were over four months are at present at the Quarantine Station at Timehri.
The law states that any animal entering Guyana must be accompanied by a medical certificate and an import permit issued ONLY by the GLDA- a move which was not followed by the importers.
The animals upon examination were also discovered to not have been given the rabies vaccination, without which they would pose serious threats to other animals as well as humans.