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New Poultry Health Regulations signed into law

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Posted: Thursday, August 18, 2022. 8:14 pm CST.

Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Agriculture Minister Jose Mai signed the Belize Agricultural Health Authority’s (BAHA) Poultry Health Regulations into law at the National Agriculture and Trade Showgrounds Conference Room on Thursday.

Minister Mai, BAHA Managing Director Zoe Zetina, and BAHA Animal Health Director Dr Miguel DePaz headed the signing ceremony.

“The Poultry Health Regulations … is a key element in good governance in the veterinary domain of BAHA,” said the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE), in a statement posted on social media.

“This veterinary instrument complies with the relevant requirements of international instruments related to the veterinary domain and adds a functional, transparent structure to the regulation of the poultry industry, particularly, in the control of poultry diseases.”

“The Poultry Health Regulations provides a basis for BAHA to manage poultry diseases of importance to Belize,” said MAFSE.

“Among other measures it provides for: traceability through registration of commercial poultry establishments; listing and mandatory reporting of diseases of importance to the country; surveillance of poultry diseases; biosecurity particularly during a poultry disease emergency; and disease prevention and control, including emergency response plans and financing.”

MAFSE said the revised legislation repeals the outdated Poultry Disease Regulations.

In drafting the new regulations, BAHA conducted a consultation which included itself as the Competent Authority, a legal expert, and poultry industry stakeholders. MAFSE said the consultative process was conducted to ensure the resulting legislation was scientifically, technically, and legally sound.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, the World Trade Organization was also notified of this draft legislation in compliance with the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.

The European Union provided funds for the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) to develop these much-needed regulations under the 11th European Development Fund Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Project: “Strengthening of the Legislative Framework in Belize”.

“It was agreed that the Poultry Health Regulations would be prioritized,” said MAFSE, adding that the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and other key stakeholders partnered with the Ministry in the implementation of the project.

MAFSE considers that since “consultative process helped to strengthen relationships with stakeholders … this should greatly facilitate implementation.”

To ensure that all stakeholders in the poultry business know the regulations, BAHA is continuing to build the in-house structure required and will conduct educational workshops during which copies of the Poultry Health Regulations will be made available.

 

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