7th Steering committee meeting

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Date: 
Mon, 05/07/2012 - 07:00 - Fri, 05/11/2012 - 17:00
Place: 
Georgetown, Guyana

The 7th Meeting of the Steering Committee of the Caribbean Animal Health Network (CaribVET) was held in Georgetown (Guyana) from 7 to 8 May 2012. The Meeting was chaired by Dr. Kathian Hackshaw, chair of CaribVET. Chairs of the different sessions also included Drs. Thierry Lefrancois and Jennifer Pradel of CIRAD, Guadeloupe, Ms. Margaret Kalloo of the CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. John Shaw of the USDA-APHIS-IS and Dr. Victor Gongora, chair of the Epidemiology Working Group.

 Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the chief veterinary officers of the 32 member countries/territories, representatives from the 10 member institutions, CARICOM Secretariat staff and observers also participated in the Meeting.  

We must design policies and strategies to strengthen and safeguard our relatively good animal disease status in the Caribbean, especially in the face of the worrying prognosis of a major disease burden,” declared Ambassador LaRocque during the Meeting. He lauded the sterling work of the Caribbean Animal Health Network (CaribVET) but cautioned against complacency in the fight against animal health diseases in the Community.

 

Participants were given an overview of activities of the various working groups including the major improvements of the operation and content of the CaribVET website. Discussions also dealt with the sustainability of CaribVET and the need for advocacy at the highest levels.

Several ad-hoc working group meetings were also held and there was a poster session displaying CaribVET activities and epidemiology projects conducted within the VEP project. The Meeting was followed by a presentation for Caribbean chief veterinary officers on disease prioritisation and the use of a tool developed for scoring diseases at the national level. There was also a session dedicated to the Guyana Livestock Authority stakeholders.

The Meeting welcomed the signed Letter of Understanding between CaribVET and the OIE and also the initiative of FAO to establish a similar agreement between CaribVET and the FAO. Noting the revision of the Charter regarding the establishment of a more formal structure, the Meeting adopted the Charter by resolution. Dr. Bethany Bradford, chief veterinary officer of the US Virgin Islands, was elected to serve as co-chair of CaribVET.

The Conference was outstandingly hosted by the Government of Guyana and the CARICOM Secretariat and was organised with the support of staff from CIRAD Guadeloupe and the Coordination Unit of CaribVET.

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