Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs Hon. Dean Jonas has underscored the important role that Vets play in the health and well-being of the nations across the region.
He made the point today at the Official Opening of the 13th Meeting of CaribVet Steering Committee which began at the St James Club on Monday.
He told the delegates that they should continue to pay very close attention to the profession of veterinary medicine.
He encouraged the delegates to develop better communications among themselves in an effort to further develop the profession.
“There are many social network applications that you can use to help to strengthen communications between yourselves to share best practices. These meetings are important, but they happen only once in a while but having a proper communications network not only strengthen your bond, but the ability to share best practices across the region so that everyone will be informed of what’s going on.’’
Minister Jonas said that a stronger veterinary organization across the region can only augurs well for each nation state as it relates to the production of quality animals, animal products, protection of the environment, food research, food safety and public health.
Chairperson of the CaribVet Network and Chief Veterinary Officer in St Lucia Dr Auria King-Cenac said that the 13th Steering Committee of Caribvet is a regional network for veterinary professionals and persons relating to the animal health field.
The forum is designed to help strengthen surveillance, disease recognition and to form collaboration within the region in terms of recognizing priority diseases and the safety measures that can be taken.
“Coming together as a group, collaborating our efforts; we are able to combat or prevent the entrance of those exotic diseases in our region.’
CaribVet which began in 2006 comprises several collaborative partners as well as veterinary professionals with a focus on animal health, animal disease, surveillance and combating threats within the region.
King-Cenac noted that this year’s meeting places special emphasis on disaster risk mitigation as well as establishing CaribVet’s legal status.
“As you know, last year we suffered quite a bit of devastation due to natural disasters, so we are working this year with emphasis on disaster risk mitigation, learning from our past experiences from our regional counterparts and the way forward on how can we go about building a resilient agriculture sector to help us mitigate against those challenges that we faced last year.”
The meeting continues tomorrow with a number of presentations by CaribVet members and Partners. The local planning committee for this meeting was Chaired by Dr. Nneka Hull-James. The overseas organizers lauded the committee, government and other stakeholders for a well- planned and organized meeting.