NEW ITEMS - March 9, 2020 Update: Please scroll down.
1) COVID-19 and Domestic Animals/Pets
Please visit the websites of our General Meeting sponsors - Boehrigner Ingelheim and the Pet Food Insitute
ARE THERE COVID-19 ( NOVEL CORONAVIRUS) CONCERNS FOR DOMESTIC ANIMALS & PETS?
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 was the case of a 17-year old dog - a Pomeranian "toy" breed - in Hong Kong, whose owner was ill with COVID-19 that returned a weak positive when tested for the virus. The dog did not become ill from the virus. It is uncertain as to whether the positive test was due to simple contamination of the dog from the virus particles being sent into the environment from the sick owner, or if the dog was actually infected. The animal was quarantined with its owner and was subsequently tested negative for the virus and released. It has been reported that the animal died two days after its release from an unknown cause.
A second case has been diagnosed in Hong Kong with a 2 year old German Shepherd dog whose owner also tested positive and both are currently being quarantined. Another dog from the same home tested negative but, along with four cats, is also being quarantined. None of those animals have shown any illness to date.
However, as of March 27, a cat in Belgium has reportedly developed clinical illness - vomiting, diarrhea and breathing difficulties - and tested positive for the virus a week after its owner contracted the disease. More information on the case is needed, but it is indeed a serious development.
At this time virologists believe it is possible that these positive results are due to human to animal transmission (also known as anthroponotic transmission) but uncertainly remains as to whether or not the affected animals can re-transmit the virus to humans (zoonotic transmission).
We encourage owners to remain calm and consider staying away from their pets if they feel unwell to avoid such anthroponotic transmission. 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.
Regardless of the COVID-19 situation, it is ALWAYS advisable to pratcice good hygiene when preparing or eating food.
This is a novel and unprecedented situation which continues to evolve daily and the JVMA will be monitoring the situation locally and internationally to best advise Jamaican citizens.
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: March 28, 2020
2nd Annual JVMA-CCFP-J
ONE HEALTH DAY CONFERENCE
Nov 3, 2019: The second hosting of the One Health Day Conference, a collaborative effort between the Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association (JVMA) and the Caribbean College of Family Physicians Jamaica Chapter (CCFP-J) was held at the Alhambra Inn on November 3rd 2019. It proved to be a wonderful event, with over 100 attendees spanning the human and animal medical and environmental spheres and a multi-disciplinary cast of 13 local and international speakers, the room came alive with riveting conversation revolving around the intricate ties between the environment, human and animal medicine.
Exhibitors such as the National Environment & Planning Agency (NEPA), Hi-Pro Farm Supplies, Cari-Med/Purina, Recharged Distributors, Medicanja, Heritage Education Funds International and T. Geddes Grant/Poen Ophthalmics mounted booths which were available for viewing throughout the day with well-qualified representatives making presentations during the program.
Session 1 delved into climate change and was led by natural resource specialist Dr. Alicia Hayman and physician Dr. Owen James. Dr. Hayman focused on the unprecedented and unpredictable effects of climate change on all sectors of Jamaica and the Caribbean region in disturbing detail, leading to a call to action by health professionals and individuals.
Port of Spain, Nov. 7, 2019. The 31st staging of the biennial Caribbean Veterinary Medical Association (CbVMA) Conference took place in Port of Spain, Trinidad from November 4th to 7th, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Hosted by the Trinidad & Tobago Veterinary Association (TTVA), under the theme “New Beginnings, New Horizons”, the conference sought to engage, update and educate the delegates, who came mostly from within the Caribbean, on new and existing actions, procedures and methodologies for improving the care of animals.
There were the customary oral and poster presentations, along with wet labs covering topics from clinical medicine to One Health and animal welfare. The conference was well received and enjoyed by all who were present.
A special highlight was the presence of both Commonwealth Veterinary Association (CVA) and World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) representatives, the latter of whom accepted a public marriage proposal from her partner at the Opening Ceremony! A highlight for JVMA was the handing over of funds raised by our veterinary community to assist final year Jamaican veterinary student Steffony Green.
Jamaica’s delegates were JVMA President Dr. Nigel Elliott, Jamaica Veterinary Board Chairman Dr. St Aubyn Bartlett and Drs. Jason Wright, Cliff Bradford, Clover Mattocks, Kirk-Michael Harris, Kristin Moses and one of our “Trini-Jam” vets Dr. Ryan Chanona.
Association heads up! JVMA President Dr. Nigel Elliott (right) with TTVA President Dr. Marc Driscoll.
5 Jamaican veterinarians pose with final year vet student Steffony Green (centre).
Some of the Jamaican students of the Class of 2020 - the last class receiving an 85% tuition subsidy from the Government.
JVMA AGAIN QUESTIONS LACK OF VET STUDENT FUNDING
September 8, 2019
The Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association notes with great interest the announcement by the Government that it will increase the number of medical students receiving an 80% subsidy on tuition at UWI-Mona from 55 to 102. While we are very happy for the human medical students and colleagues who will benefit, we are forced to ask the question “what about us?”
If the Government of Jamaica can find the funds to cover 102 human medical students per year – up from 55, it is hard to accept that they cannot find the funds give a similar subsidy to 3 vets as was asked by the Association in the aftermath of the removal of subsidies for all veterinary students at UWI in 2015. Is the Government saying that veterinary medicine has no role in the future of the country? If not, what is the process for determining how student subsidies are allocated?
Dr. Michael Motta. Dr. Motta was honoured as the JVMA's Veterinarian of the Year 2016.
TWO VETS RECEIVE NATIONAL HONOURS
October 21, 2019:
Two Veterinarians were among the recipents of National Awards to be bestowed on Heroes' Day, October 23 this year. Both received the Order of Distinction, Commander Class (C.D.).
Dr. Michael Motta (left) was honoured for services to the cattle industry while Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett (right) was awarded for his services to Jamaica's horse racing industry.
The JVMA proudly congratulates both awardees!
Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett.
JVMA EXECUTIVE 2019-2020
JVMA Executive 2019-2020 L-R - Drs. Simone Johnally, Roberta Harris-Daley, Jodie-Ann Clarke, Roxann Hayles, Denise Cole-Avril, Farrah Bailey-Trowers, Paul Cadogan, Nigel Elliott (President), John Josephs, Judian Maye, Sarah Wilkinson-Eytle, Julie-Anne Small, Lenworth McCalla. Please see the Executive page under General Information for positions. (Annual General Meeting June 2, 2019)
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: email@example.com
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.
Dr. Gillian Ellis (top left), Dr. Paul Cadogan (top right), Dr. Susan Koenig (bottom left) and Dr. Linnette Peters (bottom right) present at the MAJ Annual Symposium 2019.
VETS PARTICIPATE IN HUMAN MEDICAL CONFERENCES
June 13, 2019
One Health interactions between the human and veterinary medical communities continue to grow with veterinary participation in two recent human medical conferences.
On May 19, the Caribbean College of Family Physicians Jamaica Chapter (CCFP-J) held the 2019 World Family Doctor Day Conference at the Alhambra Inn. The theme was “Family Doctors in Action: Ageing & Health Challenges in Older Adults” with the keynote presentation by Dr Denise Eldemire-Shearer on “Geriatric giants: Global trends and local applications”.
Amid presentations of case studies with actual patients present, chronic diseases, nutrition, dental care and dermatology, Dr. Paul Cadogan delivered the veterinary contribution entitled “Best Friends: How pets help seniors cope with life’s challenges”.
The Medical Association of Jamaica’s Annual Symposium for 2019, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel from June 6 – 9, had a decidedly One Health theme, “Environment & Health: A Clear & Present Danger” with its kenote Opening Ceremony address being given by Diana McCauley-Hanley, former CEO of the Jamaica Environment Trust.
On Saturday June 8, an entire session was devoted to veterinary presentations. Dr. Paul Cadogan presented on “One Health: from History to the Future”, Dr. Gillian Ellis spoke on “A Bite out of Rabies”, Honorary JVMA member Dr. Susan Koenig, Wildlife Ecologist, presented on Ebola: Understanding Natural Ecosystems to halt repeated spillover” and Dr. Linnette Peters covered “Meat Processing & Prion Diseases”.
Overall the veterinary presentations were well received, with much discussion during question & answer and in the aftermath. It is envisaged that collaboration will continue to grow.
Vet-session speakers engaged in conversation with MAJ symposium attendees following the end of the day's proceedings.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING SPONSOR
PLEASE CLICK ON THE LOGO TO THE LEFT TO VISIT
VETERINARIAN OF THE YEAR 2018
Dr. Graham Brown of Animalcare Veterinary Services is the JVMA’s Veterinarian of the Year 2018.
The award was presented at the Association’s Annual General Meeting on June 2, 2019. It was to have been presented at a General Meeting held in March, but Dr. Brown was unable to attend at that time.
Dr. Brown, who served many years on the JVMA Executive, including the top posts of Treasurer, Secretary and President, was selected based on his yeoman service to the Association during the year, despite no longer being on the Executive, including his company’s sponsorship of one of our General Meetings, his role in alleviating a major crisis in the clinical community by specially importing a supply of the anaesthetic drug ketamine, when the local source was out of supply for an extended period, and his role in the organization of specialized surgeries for horses at Caymanas Park by equine surgeon Dr. Jonathan Whyte of the UWI School of Veterinary Medicine (Trinidad).
His crowning achievement for the year was the accreditation of Animalcare Veterinary Laboratory by the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) – a first for a private veterinary laboratory in the region.
Dr. Graham Brown (center) poses with his Award. On the left is Dr. Denise Cole, Nominations & Membership Chairperson, who read Dr. Brown's Citation, and Dr. Nigel Elliott, JVMA President on the right.
Mr. Boris Corujo (left) of Boeringer Ingelheim, AGM sponsor presents Vet of the Year Dr. Graham Brown with a special gift. On right, Dr. Nigel Elliott
JVMA GENERAL MEETING SPONSOR - Click to visit the PFI website.
Dr. Susan Koenig with a Jamaican Boa Constrictor (Chilabothrus subflavus) - one of our endemic, but endangered wildlife species. According to Dr. Koenig, our Boa is closely related to the Dwarf Boa of neighbouring Hispaniola. The Jamaican snake, originally a dwarf, but having no competition for its diet of coneys and birds, evolved to be much larger. The Boa population was seriously impacted by the introduction of the mongoose, which is an invasive species.
DR. SUSAN KOENIG MADE AN HONORARY MEMBER OF THE JVMA
Wildlife Ecologist and Director of the Windsor Research Centre in the Cockpit Country of Trelawny, Dr. Susan Koenig has been made an Honorary Member of the JVMA. The vote by the membership took place at the Association’s Annual General Meeting on June 2, 2019.
Over the past several years, she has been a resource person for veterinarians on wildlife matters, both formally and informally, beginning in 2014 with a Wildlife Seminar for veterinarians held at Hope Zoo. She presented to us on Ebola and its wildlife connection at a Continuing Education seminar held in 2016, on Jamaican wildlife ecology and conservation at the 2017 CbVMA Conference, on Jamaican bats & rabies at the November 2018 One Health Day Conference, and again on Ebola in the Veterinary session of the Medical Association of Jamaica’s Annual Symposium 2019. She is involved in the planning and implementation of the upcoming Rabies Surveillance Project in Jamaica.
Informally, she has always been an e-mail away for consultation for a wealth of information on our wildlife and any possible disease connections.
The JVMA welcomes Dr. Koenig and looks forward to ongoing information sharing for the benefit of our wildlife, the involvement of the veterinary profession in its conservation and to promote greater understanding of wildlife’s role in the epidemiology of infectious diseases.
JVMA Constitution: Article 1, Section 5
Veterinarians, distinguished Scientists and other persons in any part of the world, who have risen to prominence in the veterinary profession, or who have contributed distinguished service to veterinary science and to its advancement and application, may become Honorary members of the Association on nomination by the Executive Committee and election by a majority vote at an Annual or a Special General Meeting.
DR. SARAH WILKINSON-EYTLE IS THE INCOMING COMMONWEALTH VETERINARY ASSOCIATION SECRETARY
The Commonwealth Veterinary Association (CVA) held its 7th Pan-Commonwealth Veterinary Conference in Bangalore, India, from March 3 – 7 2019. Over 700 delegates, including 140 from 38 other countries, mainly from members of the British Commonwealth, attended the event.
Jamaica was represented by the JVMA’s CVA Councillor Dr. Sarah Wilkinson-Eytle who, in the election of the new Executive, was selected as the Association’s new Secretary. The Executive-elect will take office in January 2020.
Dr. Wilkinson-Eytle, who operates Phoenix VetCare in Kingston and Mandeville, is a long-serving member of the JVMA’s Executive, serving in various capacities including Secretary, Treasurer and President. The JVMA takes great pride in her achievement and looks forward to her term as CVA Secretary and even greater involvement of the CVA in the Caribbean region.
The new CVA office bearers are: President – Dr. Olatunji Nasir, Nigeria Immediate Past President – Dr. Peter Thornber, Australia Executive Director – Dr. Abdul Rahman, India Secretary – Dr. Sarah Wilkinson-Eytle, Jamaica Treasurer – Dr. Dianne Phillips, Australia Program Manager – Dr. Sean Wensley, United Kingdom Communications Coordinator – Dr. Jeff Cave, Australia
Dr. Sarah Wilkinson-Eytle
To learn more about the CVA
including the online Continuing Education opportunities it offers please
For more information in World Food Safet Day, click HERE
For the World Veterinary Associations Position Document on Food Safety, click HERE
ON MAY 1, 2019, THE JVMA RECEIVED A SERIES OF QUESTIONS FROM A GLEANER REPORTER ON THE SUBJECT OF DISPOSAL OF THE REMAINS OF ANIMALS THAT HAVE DIED.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ASSOCIATION'S RESPONSES SUBMITTED MAY 2, 2019
Click on the above banner or use thw WVD drop down menu at the top of this page to go to our WVD 2019 page. to go
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.
For Archived News, go to on the News Archive drop-down menu at the top of this page.
We want this web site to be one that will make all Jamaican veterinarians proud. It's still a work in progress. If you have any advice or you want to assist us in any way please email the Secretary of the Association. Click here to send us your advice and/or comments.