Press Release on the passing of Agriculture Minister Hon. Roger Clarke
Minister Clarke listens to a question at the JVB Forum in May 2014
The Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association notes with great sadness the passing of the Hon. Roger Clarke, Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries.
The regulation of the veterinary profession and Jamaica’s animal health is under the portfolio of Minister Clarke and, hence, over the many years of his tireless service to Jamaica, our members from both the public and private sectors interacted and worked with him on a regular basis in many ways. The interaction was always professional and cordial, yet infused with his inimitable sense of humour which endeared him to all.
On May 18 of this year, he was present at a forum on Continuing Veterinary Medical Education held by the Jamaica Veterinary Board and attended by many members of the veterinary community. He stayed throughout the proceedings and presented new registration and licensing certificates to the veterinarians in attendance. In his address to the gathering he told us how much he appreciated the many roles played by veterinarians in Jamaica and that he was here for us as we charted the way forward for animal health and our profession.
We are grateful to have had that time with him before his untimely passing. Another giant of Jamaica is gone too soon.
We offer sincerest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and the Government and people of Jamaica.
Minister Clarke with the JVB: L-R Dr. Osbil Watson (JVB Chairman), Dr, Sophia Ramlal, Mrs. Claudette Phipps (JVB Registrar), Minister Clarke, Dr. Graham Brown, Dr. Trevor Dewdney (recently retired from the JVB) and Dr. Sarah Wilkinson-Eytle.
Minister Clarke presents new Registation and Annual Licensing Certificates to Dr. Michael Motta.
Concerned organizations are once again coming together to address the problem of dog and cat overpopulation in Jamaica. February is Spay-Neuter Month and the Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association (JVMA), the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA), the Veterinary Services Division of the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries (VSD), the University of Technology (UTech) and the International Spay-Neuter Network (ISNN) are collaborating in holding a 3 day free surgical clinic to sterilize dogs and cats – this time in the heart of Kingston.
Spay is the term used for the surgical procedure performed on female dogs or cats in which the uterus (womb) and ovaries are removed. This stops the female from coming on heat, breeding and, hence, giving birth to scores of unwanted puppies or kittens in the course of her lifetime. The procedure also reduces the risk of breast cancer and eliminates the danger of reproductive tract infections and tumours.
Neuter is the term generally applied to the surgical procedure for the removal of the testicles of the male – also called castration. This reduces or eliminates typical male behaviours such as roaming and fighting with other males which often lead to wounding, maggot infestations, and straying away from home where they would otherwise be keeping watch. Neutering does not affect territorial behaviour – the natural desire to keep intruders out of the dog’s home environment. In male cats, it reduces the spread of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which is the cat-infecting relative of HIV.
Controlling the population of unwanted dogs and cats is of great benefit to the society. It reduces the public health risk from diseases that can be spread by stray animals such as leptospirosis and some worm infections, reduces the incidence of bites and injuries to people and livestock as well as the unpleasant and unhealthy occurrence of decomposing carcasses of animals killed by motor vehicles on our streets, to name a few. The opportunity is also provided to offer some humane education to the public – especially children. Learning to care for and treat animals well has the desirable spin-off of helping people relate to each other better.
The clinic will the held at UTech’s Schoolof Public Healthlocated at 21 Slipe Pen Roadin Kingston(beside the Blood Bank) from Sunday February 5 to Tuesday February 7 2012. The target population will be animals from inner city areas which normally have little or no access to veterinary care. Surgeries will be done at no cost to the owners or bearers of the animals, although donations will be welcome.
Animals brought in for surgery should have no food from the evening before the surgery and no water from the morning they are being brought in. Puppies and kittens however may have a small meal in the morning. They will be returned to their owners/care-givers with home-care instructions once recovered from anaesthesia.
Much of the funding, equipment and medical supplies for the clinic were secured by ISNN – a registered charity in theUnited States, with local organizations supporting in many ways. TheUniversityofTechnologyhas taken keen interest in the spay-neuter programme and very kindly provided the location. All personnel taking part are volunteers – donating their time and energy to this very worthy cause.
For further information, persons can call the JSPCA at 929-0320 orPhoenixVeterinary Clinic at 926-5060.
Please visit the following website for more information ISNN.
The Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association and the Veterinary Services Division of the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries are continuing their collaboration with the International Spay/Neuter Network in the effort to address the problem of the large numbers of stray or ownerless dogs and cats in Jamaica.
Following on three successful free spay/neuter clinic held in Kingston and its environs, these organizations have secured the assistance of the international veterinary charity WORLDVETS to conduct a marathon spay and neuter programme in the Montego Bay area. This is also being facilitated by the Montego Bay Animal Haven.
Spay is the term used for the surgical procedure performed on female dogs or cats in which the uterus (womb) and ovaries are removed. This stops the female from coming on heat, breeding and, hence, giving birth to scores of unwanted puppies or kittens in the course of her lifetime. The procedure also reduces the risk of breast cancer and eliminates the danger ofreproductive tract infections and tumours.
Neuter is the term generally applied to the surgical procedure for the removal of the testicles of the male – also called castration. This reduces or eliminates typical male behaviours such as roaming and fighting with other males which often lead to wounding, maggot infestations, and staying away from home where they would otherwise be keeping watch. Neutering does not affect territorial behaviour – the natural desire to keep intruders out of the dog’s home environment. In male cats, it reduces the spread of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which is the cat-infecting relative of HIV.
Worldvets will be operating a three-day clinic in Montego Bay from Monday October 19 (Heroes Day) to Wednesday, October 21 and have the capacity to spay or neuter up to 300 dogs and cats. This will be done at no cost to the owners or bearers of the animals, although donations from those who can afford it will be welcomed.
The location of the clinic will be at 12 Sunset Boulevard (on the airport road). For further information, persons can call 833-6122 or 999-5406.
Re: 2009 Annual General Meeting, Election of Officers and Veterinary Drug Resolution
The Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association (JVMA) held its Annual General Meeting at the Mona Visitor's Lodge on May 31, 2009. Attended by veterinarians from across the island, the meeting saw the election of a new Executive Committee to serve for the 2009-2010 period.
The Association membership returned almost all of the 2008-2009 officers and committee chairpersons to their respective positions, with a view to continuing the work that is being done to move the Association and the Profession forward. All were elected unopposed.
Dr. Sarah Wilkinson-Eytle was returned as President for a second term. Dr. Rosemary Murray was re-elected Vice-President while Dr. Paul Cadogan was re-elected to the post of Secretary for a fourth term. Dr. Sandrine McCubbin-Pitt and Dr. Natalie Burnett were re-elected to the positions of Assistant Secretary and Treasurer respectively.
Returning Executive sub-committees chairpersons were Dr. Ryan Knott (Nominations & Membership), Dr. Sasha Halsall (Education & Research), Dr. Wintorph Marsden (Rights & Welfare), Dr. Stacey-Ann Smith (Public Relations), and Dr. Michael Motta (Commonwealth Veterinary Association Representative). Newly elected were Dr. Nigel Elliot (Discipline & Ethics), and Dr. Kevin Walker (Judicial & Parliamentary).
The Meeting was held under the kind sponsorship of Newport Mills Ltd., member of the Caribbean Broilers Group of Companies, and veterinarians were treated to a fascinating presentation on the rehabilitation of the Jamaican Iguana by Dr. Byron Wilson of the University of the West Indies.
Of special note was the unanimous passage of a Resolution calling on the Ministry of Agriculture to engage the Ministry of Health in discussions with a view to transferring authority for the regulation of the importation of veterinary drugs to the Veterinary Services Division. For years veterinarians have experienced difficulty obtaining essential medications due to Ministry of Health policy. The Ministry of Agriculture has responded favourably to the Resolution and discussions with the Health Ministry have commenced.