The concept of animal health covers not only the absence of disease in animals, but also the critical relationship between the health of animals and their welfare.

Animal health is a concern for all CARICOM citizens. This concern stems from a public health and food safety consideration along with the economic costs that animal disease outbreaks can trigger.

As signatories to the WTO, CARICOM Member States are expected to harmonize national and regional standards with those at the international level in imports and exports of food products and to adopt the OIE approach to improving Animal Health. An integrated approach to agricultural health and food safety policies must be established with the aim of assuring a high level of animal health and animal welfare within the CARICOM region through coherent “farm-to-fork” measures and adequate monitoring of these, while ensuring the effective functioning of local and international trading relationships.

The establishment of CAHFSA as a regional body to coordinate, facilitate, monitor and evaluate the activities of national programmes is seen as pivotal to successfully address the harmonization of Animal Health in the Region