4 NEW VET REGISTRATIONS: First Cuban-trained Veterinarian registered to practice in Jamaica
Dr. Ralston Bent (right) receives his Licensing Certificate from Dr. Clover Mattocks, Chairperson of the Continuing Education & Examinations Committee of the Jamaica Veterinary Board.
December 9, 2018
The December 2018 General Meeting of the JVMA saw the making of veterinary history in Jamaica with the delivery of a Licensing Certificate to Dr. Ralston Bent, a 2011 graduate of the Central University of Las Villas in Cuba. Dr. Bent is the first Cuban-trained veterinarian to be registered to practice in Jamaica.
Cuban-trained vets have not been accepted for registration in Jamaica without undergoing further training approved by the Jamaica Veterinary Board. Dr. Bent attended the enrichment programme at Tuskegee University in the United States earlier this year. JVB Chairman, Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett noted that he hoped to see other Cuba grads brought into the fold.
In his response, Dr. Bent noted that it had been a long, difficult road and he thanked the veterinary community for the support and encouragement he had received as he prepared for the National Examination for the Registration of Veterinarians (NERV).
Another historic registration from the November sitting of the NERV came in the form of marine mammal specialistDr. Eva Alvarez-Figuerasof Spain. She is the first non-Caribbean national to sit the exammination and will be working with Dolphin Cove.
Two 2018 UWI SVM graduates were also registered: Drs. Gabrielle Beckford and Michka McCalla-Francis, joining four others who sat the NERV in July and registered in August of this year - Drs. Tracy-Ann Buchanan, Roxann Hayles, Simone Johnally and Andre' Smythe.
The General Meeting was held at the Altamont Court Hotel in New Kingston under the kind sponsorship of the Pet Food Institute, based in Washington D.C. in the United States, which provided our international guest speaker, Dr. Leslie Hancock-Monroe who presented on Obesity in pets. The presentation was excellent, well-received and generated interesting discussion. Dr. Hancock-Monroe was accompanied by PFI's Director of Business Mr. Daniel Nat-Davies who underlined his organization's commitment to the promotion of good nutrition for pets in partnership with the veterinary community.
To find out more about the Pet Food Institute please click HERE.
Newly registered veterinarians pose with the JVB: L-R JVB Members Drs. Michael Motta & Clover Mattocks, new registrants Drs. Mickha McCalla-Francis, Ralson Bent & Gabrielle Beckford, JVB Registrar Dr. Sophia Ramlal & JVB Chairman Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett. Missing: JVB Member Dr. Nigel Elliott, new registrant Dr. Eva Alvarez-Figueras.
ONE HEALTH DAY CONFERENCE - November 4, 2018
Waving for One Health - in a light-hearted moment of the One Health Day Conference.
November 4, 2018
History was made in the development of One Health in Jamaica on November 4, 2018 when the Caribbean College of Family Physicians Jamaica Chapter and the Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association held a joint 1-day conference in observance of One Health Day 2018. It marked the first time in Jamaica that human and veterinary medical organizations came together to explore some of the linkages and parallels between human and animal health as part of the all-encompassing One Health arena.
International One Health Day is celebrated every year on November 3, having been initiated in 2016. Its goal is to build the cultural will necessary for a sea change in how planetary health challenges are assessed and addressed. It puts the spotlight on the need for One Health interactions and allows the world to see them in action. Related events are not necessarily held on the day itself.
While One Health has been long advocated and supported by the veterinary profession, it is still a relatively new concept to many human health professionals. The CCFP has embraced One Health and is committed to contributing to its growth in Jamaica and the region.
This conference explored wellness, zoonotic diseases, the management of dog bites and screwworm myiasis, along with the issue of the keeping of dogs, their behaviour and population control.
An overview of One Health history (Dr. Paul Cadogan, veterinarian)
Wellness for Heath Professionals (Dr. Aldyth Buckland, physician and CCFP-Ja President)
Rabies in the Caribbean (Dr. Janine Seetahal, veterinarian, via internet from Trinidad)
Rabies surveillance and Jamaican bats (Dr. Susan Koenig, wildlife ecologist)
Influenza across the Species (Prof. Chris Oura, veterinary virologist, via internet from Trinidad)
Leptospirosis, a One Health Approach (Dr. Rayon Gregory, veterinarian)
The Management of Dog Bites in Humans (Dr. Guyan Arscott, plastic surgeon)
Screwworm infestations in animals and humans (Dr. Paul Cadogan)
Dogs: Dangerous Breeds or Responsible Ownership (Dr. Matthew Brown, veterinarian)
The conference was held at the Alhambra Inn in Kingston under the kind sponsorship of Hazpro Medical Waste Management, Cari-Med/Purina, World Brands/Pedigree, and Hi-Pro Farm Supplies with exhibits mounted by the Veterinary Services Division and the Ministry of Health.
The conference room was filled to capacity with over 100 physicians, veterinarians, allied health professionals, paraprofessionals and students. Robust discussions followed each presentation and both associations are keen to repeat and build on the success in 2019.
Andre Henry, Medical Technologist at AVS Laboratory.
October 5, 2018:
Animalcare Veterinary Laboratory’s Food and Environmental Testing section has received accreditation from the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) under the ISO/IEC 17025 Standard. It is the first private veterinary laboratory in the Caribbean and the second Jamaican veterinary laboratory to receive such accreditation. In addition, the scope of the accreditation covers thirteen (13) tests which is the greatest number that any laboratory has been given the nod for during a single accreditation exercise in the history of JANAAC.
JANAAC is the only internationally-recognized accreditation body in the English-speaking Caribbean.
Animalcare’s Managing Director Dr. Graham Brown said of his team, “I have a GREAT team at AVS Laboratory headed by Kashina Allydice-Francis and I am so proud of them.”
The accreditation is a result of four years of hard work, preparation and expenditure to enable the laboratory to meet international standards and thus be recognized wordwide.
In January of this year, the Veterinary Services Division’s Diagnostic Laboratory was accredited by JANAAC under the ISO/IEC 17025 Standard for testing of fish and fish-related products, enabling expansion of exports in that sector.
To view a short video of the VSD’s accreditation event, click HERE.
CLICK HERE TO SEE CONFERENCE PROGRAMME AND SPEAKERS
Updating Jamaica's Animal-related Laws - Responsible Ownership, Animal Welfare & Dog Population Control
August 17, 12018
The Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association (JVMA) notes with horror yet another report of an attack by free roaming dogs, which this time has resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Whittington Cole last month. This comes against the backdrop of continued lax attention to the issues of responsible dog ownership and dog population control in Jamaica. Our hearts go out to the family and all those affected by similar tragedies over the years.
From as far back as 2004, when it became clear that dogs such as American Pit Bull Terriers were being smuggled into the island, circumventing the legal importation process, the JVMA warned of the possible consequences given the lack of sufficient legislation and public practice with regard to responsible dog ownership as well as the general view of many Jamaicans that their dogs must be “bad” for security purposes.
Dr. Roberta Harris-Daley - JVMA Assistant Secretary
The Need for Sustained Veterinary Education.
Dr. Roberta Harris-Daley
Currently, there are approximately 87 veterinarians practicing in Jamaica, with the majority being employed in government regulatory work or private clinical practice (involving preventative medicine and the diagnosis and treatment of various illnesses in pets, food-producing animals and horses).
This figure represents a veterinarian: human population ratio of 1:30, 000 which is grossly inadequate, especially when compared to other neighbouring North American and Caribbean countries with ratios between 1 per 2000 and per 10, 000.
The inadequacy is blatantly seen in the lack of clinical veterinary services in many rural parishes, where farmers and pet owners are left without veterinary care for their animals, and has also led to the proliferation of illegal practitioners which poses a threat, not just to animal welfare, but also to food safety and human health.
After many years of waiting, persons who wish to bring dogs and cats into Jamaica from countries other than the United Kingdom and Ireland will be able to do so, provided they meet the conditions for pet travel as set out in the revised Regulations that have been promulgated by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries as announced by Minister the Hon. Karl Samuda in September.
The lobbying process to bring about these changes officially began in February 2004 when the (then) Small Animal Veterinary Practitioners Association of Jamaica (SAVPAJ) convened a Veterinary Colloquium on the Movement of Companion Animals. Local and international speakers discussed the advancements that had been made in the control of major diseases of these animals, most notably rabies, and the changes that had resulted in the laws, regulations and policies of other rabies free countries such as the UK, the Cayman Islands and Barbados, with the introduction of “Pet Travel Schemes.”
Based on those findings, and against the backdrop of the dangerous apparent smuggling of dogs from unknown sources into Jamaica, the JVMA issued a position document in 2005, calling for the introduction of similar changes in Jamaica. The objective was to ensure the safe movement of these pets, through microchip identification, rabies vaccination and protective titre checks, relevant parasite treatments and health certification for freedom for any other diseases of concern. This also included the necessary policy changes regarding the importation of rabies vaccines, so they could be available for pets being exported as required by many countries, as well as for humans who work on the “front line” with at-risk domestic and wild animals.
In 2008, then Agriculture Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton formed a committee to explore the issue of the movement of companion animals as well as the stray and dangerous dog situations. The Committee was comprised of veterinarians from the JVMA, the Veterinary Services Division and the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA) as well as the President of the Jamaica Kennel Club. In its report, the committee called for the laws and regulations to be changed in line with the Association’s position, as well as strengthening of legislation covering the keeping of dogs, among other things.
In 2012, under Agriculture Minister the late Roger Clarke, new regulations were passed which set out a specific process for the importation of dogs certified as “service” animals and greatly expanded the list of countries from which dogs could be imported. Unfortunately, “non-service” dogs from same places were not allowed. This, therefore, did little to change the overall status quo, and resulted in continued distress for many pet owners, both locally an overseas.
Over time, other entities and individuals joined the lobbying cause – including returning residents, tourist industry stakeholders, diplomats, dog breeders, researchers and more – pushing for change to bring the country’s companion animal policies in line with 21st century medical science and technology. Change has finally come.
The new regulations come with a number of requirements for treatment, testing and certification for the animals being brought into the island. These, along with the list of countries can be viewed here.
Animal Health Matters is a new online resource that aims to educate and build greater awareness of the most pressing issues in animal and human health, including zoonotic disease, antimicrobial resistance, global food security and the future role and health of companion animals. Factors such as the impact of global conflicts, trade, how healthier animals mean healthier families and the ongoing focus on zoonotic disease are all debated within the new, attractive and interactive online resource.
Animal Health Matters was produced by the HealthforAnimals, the global animal medicines association, and the World Veterinary Association, the global voice of the veterinary profession to recognize that the health of our pets, farm animals and wide range of wildlife, is inextricably tied up with the health and wellbeing of human beings all over the world.
Animal Health Mattersalso looks to the longer term with items such as ‘Five trends for the next five years’, which assess the impact of new and emerging factors influencing animal health. These ‘Five trends’ include factors such as better surveillance systems for disease threat identification, how portable technologies are helping to fill the void in information about the movement and emergence of livestock disease, and how the role of new technologies, such as satellite data and smart ear tagging, are helping developed and developing nation farmers detect disease sooner.
Click on the image to the right to read Dr. Scott's poem
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
TRIBUTE TO A DOG
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
Writer's Credit:Unless otherwise stated, all articles on this page are written by Dr. Paul Cadogan.
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