May 19, 2008, 4:58 AM
The Gambia government is determined to ensure that veterinary service conforms to internationally accepted standards as prescribed by the OIE, World Organisation for Animal Health says the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture.
DPS Sherifo Bojang , who has recognised the important role of the veterinary profession in food production, food safety and poverty alleviation, made this statement at the opening of a two-day training on continuing professional development for Registered Livestock Assistance and auxiliaries, held at the Wellingara Horticulture Centre at the weekend.
Mr Bojang stressed that in the above context, the Gambia Veterinary Council, which is the statutory body set up to regulate veterinary practice in the country, has been tasked to establish standards and guidelines pertaining to animal health.
He noted that such training workshops are always timely in order to provide a better guarantee of foods of animal origin; that is meat, milk and eggs, and to promote animal and human welfare through science-based approach.
The veterinary council, in collaboration with the Gambia Veterinary Association, organises workshop with a view to upholding standards through the introduction to new development and information relating to veterinary medicines and practices.
“The council is also in the process of expanding its facilities for on-line research, in addition to the library of books and journals for registered professional,” he said.
“The Ministry of Agriculture recognises the important role of veterinary services not only in matters relating to animal health but also in public health and food safety issues, as well as in the control and prevention of emerging diseases, particularly those transmissible to human, such as the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza, and rabies.”
Mr Bojang also said the Ministry of Agriculture would like to recognise the good job of the Gambia Veterinary Council in the control of the proliferation of illegal veterinary drugs by unauthorised individuals.
“This service is absolutely essential for the protection of the general population in which the veterinary profession is a major stakeholder,” he added.
He also noted: “We at the Ministry of Agriculture are totally committed to developing the livestock sector in The Gambia.
We are cognizant of the fact that this cannot happen without a strong, vibrant and efficient veteran veterinary services in line with OIC standards for veterinary services.”
Other speakers at the occasion included Dr Badara Loum, president of the Gambia Veterinary Association.