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.
***** HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015! *****
Reminder: JVMA membership fees and JVB Licence Renewal fees are now due.
Dr. Phillipa "Pippa" Fray 1920-2014
Dr. Pippa Fray, photo from the JVMA's 1996 Golden Jubilee magazine.
The Jamaican veterinary community is mourning the loss of Dr. Phillipa “Pippa” Fray MRCVS who passed away on Christmas Eve at the age of 94.
Dr. Fray was Scottish born, studied veterinary medicine at Dublin Veterinary College in Ireland, graduating in 1943. She practiced in England and Ireland before migrating to Canada where she got her Diploma in Veterinary Public Health from the University of Toronto and later a Masters in Veterinary Pathology at the University of Guelph in the 1950’s. She became an Assistant-Professor in Veterinary Microbiology and was editor of the Canadian Veterinary Journal. She also did a Masters in Library Science. She married in 1961 and moved to Jamaica where she worked for a time in the Department of Microbiology at the University Hospital.*
She then worked mainly in her second career in librarianship in various capacities, including working with the Scientific Research Council, the Jamaica School of Agriculture, the Commonwealth Libraries Associaton and the College of Agriculture. She was involved in coffee production, was a member of the Bee Farmers Association and edited the magazine Jamaican Bees.*
She frequently attended JVMA meetings well into the 2000’s until it became more difficult for her as age caught up.
The JVMA offers sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Dr. "Pippa" Fray.
* Source: JVMA's Golden Jubilee Souvenir magazine, 1996
JVMA FUND-RAISING EVENT - for the whole family!
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DISEASE OF THE WEEK
Newly emerging: Thogotovirus infection
A new and deadly viral infection, suspected to be tick-transmitted, was recently identified in the United States. It was named the "Bourbon Virus" after the county in the state of Kansas in which the first and only case thus far occurred - in a farmer.
The Bourbon Virus is a member of the Orthomyxoviridae and is of the genus Thogotovirus which prior to the case in the US, was only known to occur in Eastern Europe, Africa and parts of Asia. They may infect mammals, including humans and spread by a tick or insect vector. The case is the first time a member of the genus has been known to cause clinical illness.
The patient suffered a febrile illness with attendant headache, muscle aches and weakness. Haemotology showed the anaemia, leukopaenia typical of Anaplasma (formerly Ehrlichia) or similar tick-borne infections along with elevated liver enzymes. Tests for known tick-borne diseases were negative. The illness progressed to multi-organ failure and death. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) later determined that a Thogotovirus was the cause of the illness and it was given the name Bourbon Virus.
Further investigations will be carried out to determine the pathophysiology of the virus and confirm its tick-transmitted status. It is not known at this time how the virus arrived in the US or the identity of its animal reservoir, if any.
Three veterinarians were added to the list of those registered to practice in Jamaica.
Two recent graduates of the University of the West Indies School of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Judian Maye and Dr. Roselee Morgan were registered following successful completion of the National Examination for the Registration of Veterinarians (NERV).
The third new registrant is Dr. Phillip Aleong, a Trinidadian-born, US-based equine veterinarian who already did the NERV in the past, but is only now completing the registration process. A Tuskegee graduate, Dr. Aleong is based in Florida but has worked throughout the Caribbean.
A fourth veterinarian, Dr. Andrew Trawford from the United Kingdom, renewed his locally registered status after many years abroad. He had been registered in Jamaica previously, but after leaving the island had not maintained that status.
To Drs. Maye, Morgan, and Aleong - welcome to the Jamaican veterinary community! To Dr. Trawford - welcome back!
For the list of Registered Veterinarians please click HERE.
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.
Latest World Veterinary Association Newsletter: CLICK HERE
Latest University of Florida ONE HEALTH Newsletter: CLICK HERE
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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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.