The Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) is reminding citizens that it is important to follow established procedures for the importation of livestock into Guyana. Dr. Colbert Bowman, Head of GLDA’s Animal Health Unit, says the procedure is straightforward and will reduce the risk of economic ruin for livestock farmers.
“There is a legal pathway for importing animals into Guyana and it starts with them coming into us and making an application for the import of a particular animal into Guyana. Based on the situation in the particular country from which the animal is being sourced, we set preconditions so that it can be legally imported into Guyana. If that is done, then we minimise the risk of any transfer of diseases,” Dr. Bowman explained.
Additionally, the veterinarian said the current situation in Venezuela, where large numbers of people are crossing the Guyana – Venezuela border into Region One, Barima-Waini to escape the current socio-economic crises in that country, dictates that citizens follow the established guidelines, especially since there have been confirmed cases of vesicular diseases there.
“That’s one reason why we need to mount this exercise and we need to extend it for a prolonged period until we are certain that there is a reduction in the risk. Because people moving from one area to the next will want to move their total livelihood, and that may include animals and so forth,” he explained.
Vesicular disease is a general term referring to diseases that cause blisters on various body parts of livestock and, in some cases, humans. Included in this category are Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD); Vesicular Stomatitis (VS); Swine Vesicular Disease (SVD); and Vesicular Exanthema of Swine (VES). Foot and mouth disease is considered the most devastating of them because of its rate of transmission and the capacity to wipe out large herds in a short period leaving economic despair in its aftermath.
Guyana has been deemed free from foot and mouth disease without vaccination through the GLDA’s veterinary interventions that minimise the threat of disease from internal and external sources.
Images: Anil Seelall
DSC_0166: Head of GLDA’s Animal Health Unit, Dr. Colbert Bowman