Avian Influenza (AI) is a viral disease that can affect several species of birds, be it food producing (chickens, turkeys); pet birds and/or wild birds. The Ai virus has also been isolated from mammalian species including human, rats and mice, pigs, cats, tigers and dogs.


Generally the AI viruses can be classified into two categories Low pathogenic (LPAI); typically causes little to no clinical signs in birds and highly Pathogenic (HPAI) that can cause severe clinical signs and/or high mortality in birds.


AI occurs worldwide with certain strains being more prevalent in certain areas of the world than others. Outbreaks of the highly pathogenic H5N1 AI began in South East Asia in late 2003. Over the past years, several other Asian countries have reported outbreaks. Outbreaks have also been reported in Africa and Europe. Recently, outbreaks were reported in the United States of America, latest being January 2015.  It should be noted also that outbreaks have occurred in Mexico, Belize and Canada.


The Caribbean region in general and CARICOM member states in particular need to take the appropriate measures that would help in preventing or lowering the probability of the disease entering the region, while at the same time ensure that all the necessary plans and systems are in place in the event that an outbreak occurs. These measures should include but not limited to:

  1. Increase biosecurity measures
  2. Report of sudden deaths in birds (wild or poultry) to Veterinary Authorities
  3. Limit /prevent access between wild birds and commercial and backyard flocks
  4. Know the warning signs of the disease
    • Sudden increase in deaths among birds without showing any clinical signs
    • Loss of appetite
    • Reduction on egg production
    • Soft or thin-shelled eggs
    • Purple discoloration of wattles, combs and legs
    • Swelling of head, eyelids, combs, wattles and hocks
    • Gasping for air/Difficult breathing
    • Coughing, sneezing and/or nasal discharge
    • Diarrhoea
    • Stumbling or falling down
  5. Simulation exercises to test AI preparedness manuals
  6. Development of Plans and strategies to mitigate outbreaks

In conclusion anyone noticing birds being sick or dead birds should report it right away.

  • Call your local or private Veterinarian or Animal Health personnel
  • Call the veterinary Services Division at your Department or Ministries of Agriculture
  • Call your Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories

Potential use of Vaccines in USA and

Q & A on AI by the USDA

REFERENCES:

Qualified female applicants and qualified nationals of non-and under-represented member countries are encouraged to apply.
Persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.
All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization.

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THE CARIBBEAN ACTION UNDER THE INTRA-ACP AGRICULTURAL POLICY PROGRAMME (APP) THROUGH THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT UNIT (PMU) BASED IN THE IICA OFFICE IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO AND WORKING ON BEHALF IMPLEMENTING PARTNERS - CARICOM SECRETARIAT (CCS) AND THE CARIBBEAN AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE (CARDI) - IS REFRESHING AND EXPANDING ITS INITIAL FEBRUARY 2014 CALL FOR CONSULTANTS TO UPDATE THE APP CONSULTANT DATABASE.
IN THIS REGARD, THE APP-PMU IS SEEKING EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST FROM CONSULTANTS

 

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The Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA) is pleased to announce the following appointments:

Animal Health Specialist: Dr. Gavin Peters

Dr. Peters has a Master’s of Science Degree in Agricultural Diversification specializing in Animal Production and a first degree in Veterinary Medicine.

He has previously worked in two Member States (Guyana and St. Vincent & the Grenadines) and two Associate Member States (Turks and Caicos and British Virgin Islands), within the Veterinary and Environmental Health Departments. He is a citizen of Guyana by Birth.

Dr Peters commenced duties on October 1, 2015

Plant Health Specialist: Mrs. Juliet Goldsmith

Ms. Goldsmith has a Master’s of Science Degree in Molecular Biology and a first degree in Entomology.
She was until recently the Manager of the Pest Risk Analysis Unit at the Ministry of Agriculture in Jamaica and has over twenty years of experience in the Plant Protection area. She is a citizen of Jamaica by birth.

Mrs. Goldsmith commenced duties on October 1, 2015

Finance/Administrative Officer: Mrs. Erma Ifill-Griffith

Mrs. Ifill-Griffith is a trained financial professional with a Masters degree in Financial Services.  She possesses vast experience in Accounting, Banking, Finance, Administration and Operations. She has successfully completed the ACCA and served recently as the Manager, Finance and Accounts, at the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation. She is a citizen of Barbados by birth.