The Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) has moved to lay charges against persons who are illegally importing animals into Guyana, without an accompanying import permit.
Recently, the Authority has been observing an increase in the illegal importation of animals resulting in confiscation at the Port of Entry. However, this has not stopped persons from attempting to smuggle the animals as cases of illegal importation have increased over the last two months.
The GLDA Act section 17 makes provision for charges to be laid against defaulters. In an event that a person fails to comply or commits an offense on summary conviction, the importer is liable to a fine of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00).
In the case of a continuing offense, the defaulter will be fined an additional fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) and imprisonment for three months.
Dr. Dwight Waldron, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, pointed to the fact that, there are rules and regulations which govern the importation of animals.
“It is a worrying situation for the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) as we have noticed an increase in cases of illegal important of animals, specifically dogs,” Deputy Chief Executive Officer stated.
The Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) will shortly be rolling out a campaign against this practice. Defaulters are, therefore being out on notice. Animals found to be imported illegally into Guyana will not only be euthanized, but charges will be laid against defaulters.
“It is important for persons to comply with our rules. Rules are not implemented to make things difficult. Oftentimes these animals are imported without their rabies shots- which places not only our animals but human beings at risk,” the DCEO said.
The Authority will also be having dialogue with airline operators to ensure that animals are not accepted onto flights without supporting documents.
The move is in keeping with the Authority’s mandate to regulate the import and export of animals and to promote greater efficiency in the livestock sector.
Applications for import permits attract the following fees:
|Cats & Dogs||G$20,000 per animal|
|Horse||G$ 40,000 per animal|
|Cattle||G$20,000 per permit application|
|Sheep||G$10,000 per permit application|
|Goat||G$10,000 per permit application|
|Pigs||G$10,000 per permit application|
|Poultry & Hatching Eggs||G$10,000 per permit application|
|Birds||G$10,000 per permit application|
|Aquarium Fish||G$3,500 per permit application|
|Other Animals||G$10,000 per permit application.|
On November 4, Agriculture Minister, Hon. Noel Holder tabled the Food Safety and Animal Welfare Bills in the National Assembly.
The campaign will see officials from the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) having a more active presence at Ports of Entry to further strengthen its surveillance system. Regular inspections at hatcheries and processing facilities will also be conducted to ensure compliance with national and international Animal Health standards and guidelines.
The nexus between animal health and public health, in its diverse eco-systems, is fully expressed in the concept of ‘One Health’ which emphasizes the need for good governance among all sectors and actors involved, by preventing and mitigating the risks generated at the interface between people, animals and the environment.