Animal tagging programme officially launched
The Agriculture ministry has now launched its National Animal Identification and Traceability System which will see the tagging of 60,000 heads of cattle in Jamaica.
The tagging of animals is expected to lead to the issuance of animal passports, a process which has so far cost the government $35 million.
Speaking at the launch of the programme yesterday at the Minard Livestock and Beef Festival in Brown’s Town, St Ann, agriculture minister, Derrick Kellier said the programme is a critical plank in tracing the movement of meat and related products.
He said the passport will be used to record critical biological and genetic data on the animals and the transfer of animals from one owner to the next.
Kellier said the exercise is underpinned by regulations under the Animal (Diseases and Importation) Act which will make it mandatory for owners of cattle to tag their animals and possess the necessary passport.
These regulations will make it illegal for animals to be transported without the accompanying passport.
Police will also be empowered to prosecute any handler of livestock who is not in possession of the necessary passport.
Kellier says the regulations will be gazetted shortly.
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