Full enforcement of animal tagging to start September – Charles Jr
Come September, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries will begin full enforcement of the Animals (Diseases and Importation) (Marking of Bovine Animals) Regulations, 2015, requiring all cattle to be identified with ear tags and corresponding passports.
“We, therefore, urge all cattle farmers to have their cattle tagged,” Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Pearnel Charles Jr warned during his presentation to the Sectoral Debate on Tuesday.
He advised that all stakeholders, including the Praedial Larceny Prevention Unit of the Jamaican Constabulary Force, Ministry of Health’s public health inspectors, and operators of slaughter facilities, will be re-engaged and made fully aware of the ministry’s thrust to ensure that the law is fully enforced.
Charles said his ministry has already procured the genetic analyser needed to conduct the relevant testing to make this programme viable.
“To facilitate implementation of testing, we will be undertaking a $6-million upgrading work to the PCR laboratory over the next three months. The Ministry of Health and Wellness/Public Health/meat inspectors must be brought on board to ensure that all bovine for human consumption are identified with a valid NAITS (National Animal Identifications and Traceability System) ear tag in each ear and a matching valid (original) cattle passport presented,” the minister said.
The NAITS is an identification and registration system that allows the authorities to be able to enhance animal disease surveillance and the traceability of animals and products of animal origin. Additionally, it allows for the safeguarding of animal health and addresses food-safety issues in support of the development of a modern livestock sector.
To date, 57,196 head of cattle of an estimated 75,000 head, based on 2007 Census, have been tagged.