Sun | Aug 9, 2020

Cattle owners given six months to tag animals

Published:Thursday | July 2, 2020 | 10:13 AM
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, JC Hutchinson - Contributed photo

Cattle owners have been given six months to access the free ear tags provided by the government, to be used in conjunction with a passport to properly identify their animals under the National Animal Identification and Traceability System (NAITS), if they are stolen.

This was announced by Minister without Portfolio in the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, JC Hutchinson, during his contribution to the Sectoral Debate on Wednesday.

Hutchinson said the move is one of the main pillars in the drive to arrest the scourge of farm theft.

“As we move to tighten the noose on cattle thieves, I wish to take this opportunity to announce to this Honourable House and to the country that effective January 1, 2021, all cattle must have ear tags and corresponding passports. Tag your animals so we can trace them and keep them out of the hands of the praedial thieves,” said Hutchinson.

Under the NAITS legislation, all cattle reared in Jamaica should have both ears tagged and the corresponding passport to identify the animal.

This means that there should be no movement of cattle without passports and ear tags.

In addition, no public health inspector is permitted to inspect or certify any meat before an ante-mortem verification is done, which includes the checking of the passport and the matching ear tags.

Hutchinson said the Veterinary Services Division will be engaging the Ministry of Health and Wellness to collaborate with the public health inspectorate in strengthening compliance with the regulations.

- Christopher Serju

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