Welcome to the official web site of the Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association, a professional organization representing veterinarians across Jamaica. We invite you to explore the site and see for yourself who we are and why we do what we do.
***** COMPLIMENTS OF THE SEASON! *****
Dr. Sophia Ramlal is 2014's Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Sophia Ramlal (R) receives the Veterinarian of the Year award from JVMA President Dr. Kevin Walker
December 14, 2014
Dr. Sophia Ramlal, long serving JVMA member and former Executive member (including Treasurer, Vice-President) received a very pleasant surprise at the Association's December General Meeting at the Knutford Court Hotel when she was bestowed with the award of Veterinarian of the Year 2014. She was recognized specifically for her hard work and dedication as Chairperson of the Jamaica Veterinary Board's Continuing Education Assessment Committee (CEAC) in the implementation of the Board's CE requirements for veterinarians registered to practice in Jamaica during the current year.
The Veterinarian of the Year plaque and a trophy were presented by JVMA President Dr. Kevin Walker. The Citation was read by Dr. Robert Thomas, Executive member and Immediate Past President of the Association. Click HERE to read the Citation.
The meeting was hosted by the Veterinary Services Division of the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries with the central feature being a presesntation by Dr. Ikolyn Ricketts and Mrs. Claudette Phipps to senisitize the veterinary community on the recently launched National Animal Identification & Traceability System (NAITS) (see related story on this page). Dr. Paul Cadogan also gave a presentation on One Health and the recently implemented One Health One Caribbean One Love programme and Leadership Series in which he is one of Jamaica's representatives (see related story on this page).
Members were able to submit their CE documents to the CEAC in preparation for renewal of practising licenses in January 2015. A brief but useful discussion of Matters Arising from the previous general meeting and New Business followed.
The National Animal Identification & Traceability System
Dr. Ikolyn Ricketts of the VSD discusses the NAITS with veterinarians at the meeting hosted by the Veterinary Services Division
December 14, 2014
The Veterinary Services Division (VSD) will be undertaking a major national project with the implementation of the National Animal Identification and Traceability System (NAITS) with the ultimate goal of establishing a system to identify and trace the origins of all food-producing animals in Jamaica. The programme and its associated policies and protocols were outlined to veterinarians by NAITS Team Leader Dr. Ikolyn Ricketts at a meeting hosted by the VSD at the Knutsford Court Hotel on Sunday December 14, 2014.
NAITS will be first implemented for the island's cattle population and will involve the use of coded ear tags with individual animal passports which will stay with an animal for its lifetime. The tags are specialized to allow the collection of tissue samples when they are inserted, allowing for the development of a DNA database of the population as part of the overall computerized national records. The system is designed to allow for expansion of its procedures and protocols in the future, based on needs.
VSD personnel, supported by the field staff of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) will be involved in the tagging process anfd farmer mobilization. A mobile squeeze will be used for the restraint of fractious animals. Tagging will be carried out on a parish by parish basis until the entire island is covered.
All farmers, regardless of number of animals owned, will be required to participate under the new Regulations being implemented under the Animal (Diseases & Importation) Act. Other stakeholders and participants will be the operators of abattoirs/slaughterhouses, livestock markets and showgrounds, public health inspectors and the police. Veterinarians and Public Health Inspectors will be involved in the certification of the death of an animal on farm or at slaughter respectively.
There will be no cost to the farmer in the first phase of the programme, but eventually, by year 3 or 4, it is envisaged that the farmer will bear the cost of the tagging.
NAITS is a necessary step to bring Jamaica in line with international best practice standards for traceability of food products from the farm to the fork. Once tagging is complete, an additional spin-off will be some level of protection from praedial larceny by making it much more difficult for stolen animals to be used for meat, since such animals cannot enter the slaughter and meat inspection process without the necessary documentation. The DNA samples collected during tagging may also aid in this.
Dr. Ricketts' presentation sparked lively discussion among the JVMA members present. Mrs. Claudette Phipps, though recently retired from her position at the VSD, was present and outlined the communications activities that will be utilized the get the NAITS message out to the public at large.
CVME Charts and Certificates should be submitted to the CEAC
Tickets on sale from Veterinarians and Veterinary Clinics
Latest World Veterinary Association Newsletter: CLICK HERE
Latest University of Florida ONE HEALTH Newsletter: CLICK HERE
DISEASE OF THE WEEK
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) continues to be a problem in various parts of the world, though it has been overshadowed in the news by other diseases such as H1N1 "Swineflu", Ebola and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). In recent weeks, serotypes H5N8 and the notorious H5N1 have been detected in a few countries.
According to the latest disease report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), there are occurrences of HPAI being dealt with in the United Kingdom (H5N8, under control), the Netherlands (H5N8, under control), Japan (H5N8 - wild birds only), India (H5N1) and most recently Canada (H5, reported on December 3, identification incomplete). The approach to outbreaks continues to be stamping out (destruction of infected flocks) and close monitoring.
According to the latest report from the World Health Organization (WHO), only one human case of H5N1 has been diagnosed in the period July-October 2014 - a 2-year old child in Egypt. Since 2003, there has been a total of 668 laboratory confirmed cases of H5N1 in humans in 16 countries with 393 deaths. H5N8 has not been documented in humans.
HPAI has not been detected in Jamaica but surveillance is continuous.
For the OIE's technical data sheet on HPAI, please click HERE .
The 28th Biennial Caribbean Veterinary Medical Association Conference took place in the Cayman Islands from November 4 to 7, 2014 with a multitude of delegates attending a smorgasbord of continuing education seasoned with fellowship and fun. Attendance from within the Caribbean region was however disappointing with many persons citing the costs of travel and accomodations as the main deterrent.
One conference highlight was the conferring of the CbVMA's Distinguished Veterinarian Award on Dr. Steve Surujbally of Guyana for his exceptional contribution to veterinary practice in the region as well as the regional conferences over the years. Dr. Surujbally is a veterinary graduate of the University of Leipzig in Germany, a Hubert.L. Humphrey Fellow (University of California-Davis, 1991-92) and has been a practicing veterinarian for almost 46 years. He is currently head of the Guyana Electoral Commission.
At the meeting of CbVMA members, Guyana was elected as the venue for the 29th biennial conference which will be held in November 2016.
First Module of Caribbean One Health Leadership Series completed in Tobago
Dr. Roderick King guides the group of Caribbean One Health Leaders in a discussion on leadership skills.
November 18, 2014
The first module One Health, One Caribbean, One Love Leadership Series tooks place in Tobago from November 11 -13. Particpants from all over the region took part in this programme under the auspices of the University of the West Indies (UWI), the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Food & Agricuture Organization (FAO), the agricultural research organization CIRAD, and CaribVet (the Caribbean Animal Health Network) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA).
Participants were selected from applicants who responded to a scholarship offer earlier this year and are drawn from all areas of health, environmental and and social sciences. They will particpate in a total of four modules over the next two years and will form the nucleus of the development and implementation of the principles and practices of One Health in the region. They will be expected to implement a small scale One Health project in their respective countries.
The distribution of the particpants was as follows (moving eastwards then south): Belize (3), Cuba (1), Jamaica (4), Haiti (2), Antigua & Barbuda (1), Dominica (3), St. Lucia (2), Barbados (3), St. Vincent & the Grenadines (3), Grenada (3), Trinidad & Tobago (6), Guyana (3) and Suriname (3).
The team of Facilitators and Mentors introduced the group to One Health issues and the development of leadership skills. They included Dr. Craig Stephen, executive director of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative and professor at the Western School of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatchewan, Dr. David Waltner-Toews, founding president of Veterinarians Without Borders - Canada and of the Network for Ecosystem Sustainability & Health, Dr. Roderick King of the Department of Global health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School in the United States, and Ms. Mirine Dye of the Florida Institute for Health Innovation. Caribbean Facilitators and Mentors included Prof. Chris Oura (UWI-School of Veterinary Medicine), Dr. Sandra Vokaty (PAHO), Dr. T. Alafia Samuels (UWI-School of Medicine), Dr. Cedric Lazarus (FAO) and Mr.Roger McLean (UWI-Social Sciences).
Two Jamaican veterinarians participated - Dr. Rayon Gregory and Dr. Paul Cadogan. The other Jamaican delegates were Ms. Dahlia Plunkett, Public Health Inspector, Ministry of Health, and environmental scientist and lecturer Dr. Chandra Degia.
The second module in the series will take place in June of 2015, at a venue to be decided, under the theme Food Safety and Security.
It appears that a significant number of Jamaicans are curious as to whether or not dogs are coming down with the Chikungunya virus - "affectionately" called ChikV. It is only natural that such curiosity should surface given the unprecendented epidemic in the human population and the fact that mosquitoes bite dogs too, spreading heartworm disease in the process.
The good news is that it has never been documented that dogs become ill from ChikV even if it happens to be passed to them by mosquitoes. This virus appears to be very specific for humans, since it made the "species jump" from non-human primates (apes or monkeys) in the 1950's in Tanzania. It follows that any signs of illness seen in dogs during this human epidemic will be related to a range of other illnesses that affect these animals and completely unrelated to ChikV.
Also, persons who suspect their dogs have ChikV might be tempted to give them acetaminophen (Panadol(R), Cetamol(R), Paracetamol(R), Tylenol(R)) for pain. This is a dangerous practice since, although the drug will act in pain relief, more importantly it causes liver damage when given to dogs and cats. While dogs may tolerate and recover from a single dose, this can be fatal for a cat. Repeated dosing can send a dog into fatal liver failure. Therefore, it should never be given to these animals.
The public is advised to consult a veterinarian about illness in their animals and the use of over-the-counter human medications as "first aid" for them.
The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.
A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near to his master's side.
He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world . He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he was a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains.
When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey thru the heavens.
GEORGE VEST, 1870
POSITION PAPER ON ANIMAL WELFARE - CLICK ON LOGO ABOVE
WEEKLY DISEASE REPORT. Please click on the logo above to check on important infectious diseases occurring around the world
POSITION PAPER ON ONE HEALTH - CLICK ON LOGO ABOVE
Writer's Credit:Unless otherwise stated, all articles on this page are written by Dr. Paul Cadogan.
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