The Jamaican government has affirmed its commitment to poultry industry stakeholders in the country, stressing that it is doing what it can to protect birds there from potential avian influenza outbreaks.
Speaking at the Caribbean Poultry Association’s Technical Symposium, Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Luther Buchanan said the government knows how important the poultry industry is to food security in Jamaica, reported the Jamaica Observer. Buchanan stated that more poultry is raised in Jamaica than any other protein sources, representing about 85 percent of the meat produced there.
“As policymakers, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, through our Veterinary Division, has been working closely with our private sector partners to protect our borders from (avian influenza) and the other diseases and we look forward to continued collaboration in this regard,” said Buchanan.
Jamaica has not had any confirmed cases of avian influenza in 2015, but because of the island nation’s proximity to the United States and Mexico, both of which have had their poultry industry’s hit hard by avian influenza, concerns of wild birds spreading the virus to Jamaica have been high.
No new cases of avian influenza have been reported in the U.S. since June, but USDA officials are anticipating its possible return as wild birds fly south for their annual migration.