BAF, An­i­mals Fiji sign MOU to en­hance vet­eri­nary ser­vices, an­i­mal wel­fare

Fiji Sun - - Nation -

The Biose­cu­rity Au­thor­ity of Fiji (BAF) yes­ter­day formed a part­ner­ship with NGO, An­i­mals Fiji. Through a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MOU), it will al­low both par­ties to im­prove vet­eri­nary ser­vices and an­i­mal disease re­port­ing. The ma­jor area of col­lab­o­ra­tion is fo­cused on house­hold pets and en­hanc­ing the an­i­mal wel­fare in the Fiji. Com­mend­ing the vol­un­tary work done by the NGO in en­hanc­ing an­i­mal wel­fare in Fiji is BAF ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Xavier Khan. Mr Khan said the MOU be­tween An­i­mals Fiji and BAF was ex­tremely cru­cial and ben­e­fi­cial not only in im­prov­ing disease re­port­ing, but also re­duc­ing the chances of the spread of zoonotic dis­eases such as ra­bies. More em­pha­sis will be given to mod­ernise the leg­is­la­tions to cap­ture the An­i­mal Wel­fare more pre­cisely. Mr Khan, who is the per­ma­nent del­e­gate for the World An­i­mal Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (OIE) for Fiji, said Fiji be­ing the mem­ber of OIE also has the re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure that the wel­fare of all an­i­mals in the coun­try is in good state. This in­cludes be­ing healthy, com­fort­able, well nour­ished and safe and en­sur­ing the an­i­mals are not suf­fer­ing from un­pleas­ant states such as pain, fear and dis­tress. He said good an­i­mal wel­fare is also needed for disease preven­tion and ap­pro­pri­ate vet­eri­nary treat­ment, shel­ter, man­age­ment and nutri­tion, hu­mane han­dling and hu­mane slaugh­ter or killing.

“With glob­al­i­sa­tion, there is a de­mand for im­proved vet­eri­nary ser­vices in Fiji and fur­ther de­mand of wel­fare of an­i­mals in live­stock pro­duc­tion. How­ever, I com­mend the work done by An­i­mals Fiji for the vol­un­tary vet­eri­nary ser­vices pro­vided by them around the coun­try,” Mr Khan said. Mr Khan said the part­ner­ship with An­i­mals Fiji would al­low BAF and An­i­mals Fiji to share in­for­ma­tion and data rel­e­vant to biose­cu­rity is­sues and an­i­mal wel­fare and im­prove disease re­port­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties in Fiji which would help pre­vent new dis­eases com­ing into the coun­try as well as track and treat all es­tab­lished an­i­mal dis­eases present in Fiji. “BAF as the Na­tional Con­tact Point for OIE is se­ri­ous about an­i­mal wel­fare in the coun­try and is putting in a lot of ef­fort to en­sure that an­i­mal health and pro­tec­tion is en­hanced in the coun­try. “We will also be launch­ing Bill­boards and other in­for­ma­tion, ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness ma­te­ri­als to ed­u­cate the pub­lic on this is­sue,” he said. “An­i­mal wel­fare is an ever evolv­ing is­sue in all coun­tries through­out the world. Fiji is no dif­fer­ent. Ed­u­ca­tion is a huge key to the suc­cess of the im­prove­ment of an­i­mal wel­fare in gen­eral and fur­ther em­power all Fi­jians. And through work­ing to­gether with An­i­mals Fiji, BAF will have more re­sources to ed­u­cate the Fi­jian pub­lic on this is­sue.” Mr Khan said un­der the MOU, both BAF and An­i­mals Fiji will also train staff from other re­spec­tive agen­cies. An­i­mals Fiji was started in 2011 as an an­i­mal wel­fare fundrais­ing body. Cur­rently the NGO is op­er­at­ing from Nadi, Savusavu, Labasa, Tave­uni and Lautoka. The NGO main ob­jec­tive is to re­duce the epi­demic of stray cats and dog pop­u­la­tions that plague vil­lages, towns and ru­ral ar­eas through de­sex­ing pro­grammes. How­ever, our teams treat a va­ri­ety of an­i­mals in­clud­ing—pigs, cat­tle, horses, goats, and wildlife. The NGO runs on the sup­port of vol­un­tary vet­eri­nary ser­vices. BAF and An­i­mals Fiji have the same view of One-Health Ap­proach, “a world­wide con­cept and strat­egy for ex­pand­ing in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary col­lab­o­ra­tions and com­mu­ni­ca­tions in all as­pects of health care for hu­mans, an­i­mals and the en­vi­ron­ment. Co-founder and man­ag­ing trustee Ms Quimby said the MOU be­tween BAF and An­i­mals Fiji was a huge op­por­tu­nity for both the Fiji Govern­ment and our NGO to work to­gether to­wards the same goal of im­prov­ing and pre­serv­ing Fiji’s en­vi­ron­ment and re­sources for the bet­ter­ment of both our hu­mans and an­i­mals.

“It is An­i­mals Fiji’s hope to con­tinue to grow the com­mu­ni­ca­tion along with BAF to in­clude a va­ri­ety of other govern­ment de­part­ments and or­gan­i­sa­tions within Fiji,” she said. BAF ad­vo­cates an­i­mal wel­fare is equally im­por­tant and your voice be the voice of those who have no voice. Source: Biose­cu­rity Au­thor­ity of Fiji

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