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CARICOM CVOs provisionally endorse Draft Regional Policy on Trade in Animals, Animal Products

Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have provisionally endorsed the Draft Regional Policy on Trade in Animals and Animal Products.

Endorsement in principle was given on 17 January 2020, at a meeting of the CVOs in Georgetown, Guyana. Member States are to further review and provide, if necessary, written comments on the policy.

The formulation of the policy was a mandate of the 48th Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED).

The main rationale for the creation of the policy is to facilitate and create an effectively regulated environment for the trade in Animals and Animal Products, guaranteeing the supply of high quality products, as well as enhancing food safety throughout the Region.

The policy is grounded in the provisions of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas as contained in the provisions of Articles 56 and 57, particularly Article 57 (i)(k) which promotes the establishment of effective and workable .

The approach to the development of the policy acknowledges the need for broad consultation and agreement among Member States given the national realities.

To this end, the policy reinforces the need for safeguarding the health of citizens and the productivity of the livestock sector from the risk of entry, establishment and spread of animal, zoonotic and foodborne pathogens, while providing adequate access to quality food.

The goal of the Policy is to provide the framework to address the challenges currently affecting Member States in relation to cross border issues including non-tariff measures, SPS issues and general capacity enhancement gaps which currently exist.

The policy will also ensure that CARICOM is compliant with international trade in animal procedures such as those established by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

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