NEW ITEMS - Setember 27, 2020 Update: Please scroll down.
1) World Rabies Day 2020
Please visit the websites of our General Meeting sponsors - Boehrigner Ingelheim and the Pet Food Insitute
JVMA-CCFP ONE HEALTH DAY CONFERENCE
CLICK ON THE IMAGES ABOVE TO GO TO THE CONFERENCE PAGE
WORLD RABIES DAY 2020
Dr. Simone M. Johnally
This year we celebrate the 14th World Rabies Day in history. This celebratory initiative was started by The Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) which was formed in 2005 to pool the resources of international stakeholders, governments and local partners in an effort to better combat eradication of the virus. This is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to research, educating the public and one health collaboration worldwide.
But what Is Rabies ?
It is a zoonotic disease (passing from vertebrate animals to humans) caused by a virus belonging to the Lyssavirus family. It commonly affects the Central Nervous System of mammals and is transmitted in contaminated saliva entering bloodstream. This most often occurs through bites from infected animals but can also pass through broken skin and mucus membranes. The incubation period (time until symptoms appear) can last weeks to months.
NO Rabies in Jamaica
We have had NO reported cases of Rabies in the island. The government stands by the One Health approach in regulating animal entry into the country to prevent introduction.
VETS CONTINUE TO WORK FOR THE HEALTH OF OUR ANIMALS AND PEOPLE DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
COVID-19 & DOMESTIC ANIMALS & PETS
Are there concerns?
The world is now caught in the grip of a new and spreading human disease caused by a Coronavirus that is now called SARS CoV2, short for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 to distinguish it from another virus that caused the SARS outbreak in 2003 (SARS CoV1). The disease it causes is designated COVID-19 short for Coronavirus Disease 2019.
This new virus is believed to have originated in bats and may have been transmitted to humans via contact with another wildlife species such as the pangolin. The association with snakes has been discounted as coronaviruses are only known to infect mammals and birds.
There are many types of Coronaviruses, so called because their outer coat has spikes on it that, when viewed microscopically, give them a crown-like appearance (“Corona” is Latin for crown). Several cause diseases of concern in domestic animals, but these in particular do not infect humans. There are four human Coronaviruses that cause the common cold, and now three that can cause serious, even fatal lung disease – SARS CoV1, MERS CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and now SARS CoV2.
Persons may be concerned about SARS CoV2 and any effect it may have on our domestic animals. While there is still more to learn about this virus, thus far transmission of the virus to pets and other domestic animals remains rare. With an evolving situation, we nevertheless must be cautious.
There have been a few cases in Hong Kong, in Belgium and most recently, in New York in which dogs and/or cats have tested positive for the virus. Some cats, including a tiger, have had signs of illness, while others have not. All have recovered. No dog has thus far shown any illness from SARSCoV2 and they do not appear to shed live virus. ALL the animals were exposed to a human suffering from COVID-19, the infection caused by SARS CoV2. There has never been even a suspected case of a human contracting the disease from a pet.
IDEXX Laboratories, a major US-based veterinary diagnostics company, which has developed a test for SARS CoV2 in animals, tested over 4,000 pets from 17 countries during its test validation process without finding any positives.
At this time virologists believe that positive results are due to human to animal transmission (also known as anthroponotic transmission) but it appears extremely unlikely that the affected animals can re-transmit the virus to humans (zoonotic transmission).
We encourage owners to do the following:
REMEMBER, that during times of "physical distancing" and staying at home which can lead to social isolation, our pets are great companions and can help ease the stress of the current situation.
If you are ill with symptoms that could be COVID-19 related, you should consider staying away from your pets, in particular cats to avoid anthroponotic transmission.
Get someone else to care for your feline pet if possible. They should practice good hygiene when doing so.
If that is not possible, wear a mask or face covering and wash/sanitize your hands thouroughly before and after handling your pet.
Regularly sanitize your pet's food and water bowls and keep its environment clean.
If you have COVID-19 and your cat shows any sign of illness, contact your veterinarian by telephone or other messaging method for advice.
All animal owners are encouraged to follow good hygiene practices such as hand washing before and after interacting with animals or things they come in contact with.
Dogs do develop acute-onset respiratory diseases that cause coughing, collectively called “Kennel Cough”. These can be caused by a bacterial infection (Bordetella bronchiseptica) and a number of viruses such as Canine Parainfluenza, Canine Adenovirus, Canine Distemper Virus and Canine Influenza Virus (the last has not been identified in Jamaica), none of which pose a threat to humans.
Cats may get viral respiratory infections such as Feline Herpesvirus and Feline Calicivirus, neither of which infect humans.
Should a dog or cat develop a cough or other respiratory signs, veterinary consultation is advised so the needed treatment can be given/prescribed. The same applies to other types of animals.
Everyone is advised to seek accurate information on COVID-19 from reliable sources.
For on COVID-19 from the World Health Organization please click HERE .
For information from our local Ministry of Health & Wellness, please click HERE.
For information from the World Organization for Animal Health, please click HERE .
UPDATED: April 24, 2020
JVMA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 2020-21
by Dr. Simone Johnally
On June 28th 2020, the Jamaica Veterinary Medical Associaton (JVMA) met for its Annual General Meetng. Amongst relevant matters discussed, a new Executive body was elected. Dr. Julie-Anne Small was elected President, replacing Dr. Nigel Elliott after the completon of three successful terms. We are pleased to announce the complete list of officers and committee chairpersons and liaison councillors as follows:
Persons serving on the Executive for the first time are noted.
President: Dr. Julie-Anne Small
Vice-President: Dr. Judian Maye
Assistant Secretary- Dr. Roxann Hayles
Treasurer: Dr. Kevin Walker
Immediate Past President: Dr. Nigel Elliot
Public Relations: Dr. Simone Johnally
Nominatons & Membership: Dr. Denise Cole-Avril
Rights & Welfare: Dr. Kashena McCarthy (new)
Discipline & Ethics: Dr. John Josephs
Educaton & Research: Dr. Jason Wright (new)
Judicial & Parliamentary: Dr. Lenworth McCalla
Caribbean Veterinary Medical Association Councillor: Dr. Gabrielle Beckford
Commonwealth Veterinary Association Councillor: Dr. Paul Cadogan
We thank the outgoing Executive for an excellent year and welcome the new Executive for a year committed to continued growth of the profession, optimum veterinary care and the promotion of One Health.
Please click HERE for more details of the Executive
Theme: Environmental protection for improving animal and human health.
Click the "movie" link below to view a presentation by Wildlife Ecologist Dr. Susan Koenig on how Jamaica's Cockpit Country works to provide vital water supplies and other ecosystem services for our people and animals!
ONE HEALTH DAY CONFERENCE 2019 ENVIRONMENT & ECO-HEALTH PRESENTATIONS/INFORMATION
CLICK HERE FOR A PRESENTATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE & JAMAICA BY NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST DR. ALICIA HAYMAN
CLICK HERE FOR A PRESENTATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE & HEALTH BY PHYSICIAN DR. OWEN JAMES
CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON STONY CORAL TISSUE LOSS DISEASE
ALERT! AFRICAN SWINE FEVER AFFECTING PARTS OF EUROPE, CHINA
The Veterinary Services Division of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce & Fisheries held a sensitization seminar on the global threat to pig health posed by the African Swine Fever virus (ASFV) on June 13, 2019 at the Alhambra Inn.
PLEASE NOTE: African Swine Fever is NOT found in Jamaica or the Americas at this time. It is an OIE-reportable emergency disease with potentially devastating effects in pigs, and by extension, affecting food security and causing economic disruption. The virus does NOT infect humans. It is currently occurring in parts of Asia, including China, and some of European countries.
Attended by various stakeholder representatives, including veterinarians, livestock industry players, Customs, the Police and Military, Jamaica Post, NEPA and public health personnel, there were presentations on the disease itself, its current distribution in the world, it’s effects, current surveillance procedures and laboratory testing requirements and methods of prevention of entry. Robust discussion ensued and all were appreciative of the sensitization received and the importance of entry prevention.
For the OIE’s latest information on ASFV please CLICK HERE.
ALL SUSPICIONS OF AN UNUSUAL ANIMAL DISEASE OF ANY TYPE SHOULD BE REPORTED IMMEDIATELY TO THE VETERINARY SERVICES DIVISION 876-977-2492, 876-977-2489, 876-927-0595 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
HELP KEEP JAMAICA EMERGENCY DISEASE FREE! DO NOT IMPORT ANIMALS OR ANIMAL PRODUCTS WITHOUT A VALID VSD PERMIT!
Delegates at the African Swine Fever Seminar
For a detailed look at African Swine Fever, presented by Prof. Chris Oura of the UWI School of Veterinary Medicine, St. Augustine, Trinidad, please Click HERE
Note: Prof. Oura is one of the world's premier experts on ASFV. We are fortunate to have him in our region.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING SPONSOR
PLEASE CLICK ON THE LOGO TO THE LEFT TO VISIT
JVMA GENERAL MEETING SPONSOR - Click to visit the PFI website.
NEED TO CONSULT A VET? FIND A VET NEAR YOU! ClickHERE.
For the Jamaica Veterinary Board's List of Registered Vets Click HERE.
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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