Lupo Distributors sponsored the March 2016 JVMA General Meeting. L-R Mr. Billy Lanigan, Sales Manager, Lupo, Dr. Sarah Wilkinson-Eytle, JVMA Secretary, Mr. Andrew Todd, Director, Lupo Distributors, Dr. Kevin Walker, JVMA President.
The March General Meeting of the JVMA took place on March 20, 2016 at the Caymanas Golf & Country Club in St. Catherine. Attended by about 50 veterinarians - more than half of the resident vets in the island - the meeting was sponsored by Lupo Distributors, importers of quality dog foods of the Nutram, Pet Time, and Canil brands.
Attendees were treated to a presentation on Nutram foods as well as packages of samples. Continuing Professional Development content came in the form of two presentations: Dr. John Josephs presented a case report on Heartworm Disease in cats (see "Disease of the Week" below), and Dr, Audrie McNab spoke on the Influenza Virus with a focus on the current strain of H1N1 and the incorrect tendency to label it "swine flu".
Four new members, all 2015 graduates of the UWI-School of Veterinary Medicine in Trinidad, were welcomed. They were Drs. Kashena McCarthy, Oshane McHugh, Calvern Thomas and Melisa Thompson. All have been registered by the Jamaica Veterinary Board.
JVMA members at the March 2016 General Meeting. Photo courtesy of Dr. Kevin Walker.
Dr/ John Josephs speaks on Feline Heartworm Disease. Photo courtesy of Dr. Kevin Walker.
Jamaica Veterinary Board Team visits UWI-School of Veterinary Medicine
Jamaican UWI-SVM students pose with the JVB team. 28 of the 35 students enrolled in the DVM programme attended the evening meeting.
Representatives of the Jamaica Veterinary Board paid a visit to the University of the West Indies School of Veterinary Medicine, located at the Mount Hope sub-campus of UWI-St. Augustine in Trinidad on February 18 and 19, 2016. The team consisted of Board members Dr. Sarah Wilkinson-Eytle and Dr. Audrie McNab along with JVB Examiations Committee chairman Dr. Paul Cadogan. They engaged in discussions with the school's faculty, toured the facilities and met with Jamaican students enrolled in the programme.
The team was welcomed by the school's director Professor Bhakthavatsalam Manohar, and met with many faculty members and staff, including Professor Abiodun Adesiyun, former Director who had returned to the school after going on sabbatical.
The discussions covered the admissions process, the curriculum, research, continuing education, and provided feedback to the school on the performance of its graduates in Jamaica over the years. The visitors were able to meet the staff and see the new facilities at the school, including an improved equine operating theatre and recovery room, new laboratories and lecture rooms. It was agreed that collaboration between the SVM and the Jamaican veterinary community would be strengthened.
There were two informal lunchtime meetings with some of the 35 Jamaican students and an evening meeting at which Dr. Cadogan gave a presentation on the National Examination for the Registration of Veterinarians (NERV) and there was a discussion of the status of the JVMA's engaging with the Ministry of Education regarding the discontinuation funding of tuition for new students. A lively discussion followed in which the team encouraged the students to interact more with vets at home, including forming a student chapter of the JVMA.
The team, two of whom are Executive members of the JVMA, was taken out to dinner by members of the Executive of the Trinidad & Tobago Veterinary Association(TTVA) which, apart from generating great camaraderie, served to strengthen the relationship between the two Caribbean associations.
The visit came on the heels of a site visit at the SVM by the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP), as part of the current accreditation exercise for the school. The last accreditation exercise took place in 2009.
Dr. Paul Cadogan and Dr. Sarah Eytle (L & R center) sit with Jamaican veterinary students.
Support for the J.S.P.C.A
Dogs awaiting surgery at a spay-neuter clinic held by the JSPCA and the International Spay-Neuter Network.
The Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association views with great concern the problems facing the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA) with regards to its location.
The difficulties encountered by the JSPCA in finding a suitable location for their animal shelter in the environs of Kingston are not new. Since its founding in 1903, JSPCA has been the champion of the rights and welfare of animals of all types and has been based at several locations beginning with King Street (1938 - 1943), Spanish Town Road, Kingston 11 (1943 – 1999, which was closed because of both funding and safety issues), 113 Constant Spring Road (1978-1991) and 10 Winchester Road (1991 – present). Where it can go now, to provide shelter and care to all animals in need is the question at hand.
Although many in Jamaica think of the JSPCA solely as a veterinary clinic for those in the low income bracket, the Society operates a shelter for stray and abandoned animals, performs low cost spay-neuter for dogs and cats and has been pivotal in dealing with domestic animal welfare issues on farms and with horses around the island. Rescue and rehabilitation services for our wildlife, from crocodiles to birds and marine mammals such as whales and dolphins, public education on animal welfare, responses in disaster situations – even internationally (e.g. in the earthquake in Haiti) are all part of its mandate. These animal welfare functions must continue to be supported by public and private contributions.
For the veterinary profession, the JSPCA has been an important source of employment and clinical experience for many newly-graduated veterinarians and those who aspire to be veterinarians as well. All veterinarians employed there are members of our Association.
Though the JSPCA operates one of several veterinary facilities in Jamaica, its charitable animal welfare mandate is what makes its continued accessibility in the Corporate Area important. The JVMA recognizes this important role of the JSPCA and urges all persons, with the capability to assist, to help identify a suitable location in the Kingston metropolitan area for a shelter for the Society to house the small and large animals that need a home. We also urge all who can help with adoption or re-homing of sheltered animals to do what they can and to support on-going spay-neuter campaigns to control the growth of our stray dog and cat populations.
November 4, 2015: A new location for the JSPCA has been identified, but negotiations to iron out certain issues are yet to be finalized. The fate of the organization therefore still hangs in the balance.
KETAMINE UNDER THREAT
Calypsol has been discontinued by Gedeon Richter Ltd. of Budapest, Hungary. It was one of only two brands of ketamine available in Jamaica.
On Friday March 13, 2015, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs was due to vote on whether to reschedule Ketamine as a controlled drug because of concern about its use as an illicit recreational drug in many countries. The World Medical and Veterinary Associations have come out strongly against this rescheduling as it would render it virtually unavailable for both human and veterinary use worldwide. Ketamine is a safe, effective and inexpensive drug used in general anesthesia as an induction agent as well as the primary anesthetic for short procedures.
Here in Jamaica, we currently have only one brand of ketamine available since Gedeon Richter Ltd. of Hungary has discontinued the production of Calypsol(R) leaving only a German-manufactured ketamine preparation on the market.
Ketamine is currently an ESSENTIAL drug as far as veterinary practice is concerned, as clearly outlined in the press release from the WVA. The WMA lends strong support to the WVA position and cites the importance of ketamine in human medicine & surgery. Any restrictions or bans placed on the drug will seriously affect the delivery of both human and veterinary health care worldwide.
The JVMA unreservedly supports the position of the WVA and WMA, though we do understand that the problem of drug abuse is real and needs to be addressed.
UPDATE: The move to reschedule Ketamine was withdrawn by its main sponsor, China, to allow for further examination of the issues surrounding it. Apparently ketamine abuse has been growing in east Asia. For now, the drug has received a reprieve.
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.
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.