Sat | Sep 19, 2020

Cattle tagging to aid in stopping thieves

Published:Friday | July 3, 2020 | 12:19 AM

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

This directive from Minister without Portfolio in the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, J.C. Hutchinson, in his Sectoral Debate presentation on Wednesday will be 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,” Hutchinson urged.

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

So there should be no movement of cattle from any one location to the next without those passports and the 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 served notice that his ministry, through its 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, and to have adherence to jointly strengthen the resolve to ensure that no cattle meat is sold without the requisite checks and balances in accordance with the requirements of the law.