Legislation ‘must be workable, implementable and passable’ says Agriculture Minister

Caption: Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat (right) is presented with a token by a Representative of IICA, Mr. Gregg Rawlins. (Photo courtesy the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries)

February 7, 2017: Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries will delivered the Opening Address at a Stakeholders Forum on ‘Modernization of Animal Health Legislation and Regulation in Trinidad and Tobago’  on Tuesday February 7, 2017 held at the Sugarcane Feeds Centre, Longdenville, ChaguanasAddressing fifty plus stakeholders the Minister opined that legislation ‘must be workable, implementable and passable’.   Noting that it should treat with both present and future issues; taking into consideration the contributions made by stakeholders, cautioning that the appropriate infrastructure and regulations must also be in place.  Setting the tone for the day’s discussions, he told the audience that the session was intended for ‘you to look at the Draft realistically and ask yourself would this really work?’  .

The Honourable Minister also spoke to specific issues raised at the Forum dealing with clarifications of proposed amendments/inclusions on the issue of country of origin, disease, definitions.  Mr. Gregg Rawlins, Representative, IICA in his Opening Remarks note that the purpose of the meeting was to disseminate the final draft documents to stakeholders, and host lengthy discussions on the way forward in moving the legislative process to the next stage.

Dr. Michelle Mellows of the Ministry’s Animal Production and Health Division echoed the words of the Honourable Minister, station that ‘the animal health legislative Framework should be robust, unambiguous and fit for purpose’.  Presentations were made on topics, including ‘Animal Health Bill (2017) Outlining SPS Compliance and Veterinary Authority’ and ‘Animal Health Policy, Legislation and Regulations’.

The primary objective of the consultancy was to modernize and strengthen the existing animal health legislation in order to implement Trinidad and Tobago’s obligations under the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).  This Draft Legislation, once approved, is intended to repeal and replace the 1954 Animals (Diseases and Importation) Act, Chapter 67:02 and the 1955 Animals (Importation) Control Regulations.

The main objectives of the Draft Bill are to protect and promote animal and human health; prevent the introduction and spread of animal diseases within Trinidad and Tobago; facilitate and regulate trade in animals, animal products and animal-related items; and to establish standards for animal welfare.

Included among the stakeholders were Mr. Robin Phillips, Arawak Limited; Dr. David Kangaloo, Chief Veterinary Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries.

This project was made possible through 10th EDF SPS Project Support to the Caribbean Forum of ACP States in the Implementation of Commitments Undertaken Under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA): Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS).

 

 

Minister Rambharat in conversation with a member of the Ministry’s legal team.

 

 

 

 

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For further information please contact:

The Communications and Events Unit

Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries

868-622-1221 

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