Poultry industry regulations announced
Guyana Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud has announced regulations for the poultry sector, effective as of 10 July, as well as the consequences for those who do not comply.
The announcement comes after the ministry received complaints about chicks were being sold by some hatcheries and poultry operators without the necessary vaccinations, which has led to losses for several farmers.
The Animals (Movement) and Disease Prevention (Sale of Chicks) Regulations stipulate that with immediate effect, owners and operators of hatcheries may not sell baby chicks that have not been vaccinated against Inclusion Body Hepatitis (Hydropericardium Syndrome).
It also stipulates that one month after the commencement of the regulations owners and operators of hatcheries may not sell baby chicks that have not been vaccinated against Mareks
, Fowl Pox
and Gumboro (Infectious Bursal Disease)
. Currently baby chicks attract Value Added Tax (VAT), and the vaccines and vitamins for the chicks carry VAT as well.
Fines and imprisonment
Those who do not comply shall be liable to a fine of up to US$100,000 and six months imprisonment.
“These regulations became necessary after the Ministry of Agriculture received reports from poultry farmers that hatcheries are not vaccinating against the above-mentioned diseases: hence, farmers suffer loss of chicks,” the minister said.
The ministry is in partnership with the Veterinary Public Health Unit, Ministry of Health, the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS), Guyana Poultry Producers Association (GPPA) and other relevant government and non-governmental agencies, which are collaborating to ensure the health of the chicks is maintained.
The price of chicken lowered
Chicken is currently being sold for $260 per pound. The minister confirmed that the planned importation of the 500,000 pounds of chicken would contribute to the lowering of chicken prices, adding that there was no chicken shortage and in the coming weeks.