Government reiterates commitment to boost the livestock sector
Government is very committed to give a boost to the livestock sector amidst the prevailing global food insecurity. Although panoply of schemes has been implemented in the past, the sector still seems to be lagging behind, especially the smallholder livestock owners.
The Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, made this statement this morning at Le Labourdonnais Hotel, Port Louis at the opening of a workshop on the findings of the VET-GOV Pilot Project “Evaluation of Basic Veterinary Care in Mauritius”. It is continent-wide pilot project to reinforce veterinary governance launched at the initiative of the African Union – Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
Regarding the livestock which is being seriously affected by the outbreak of an infectious disease in Rodrigues, the Minister pointed out that the National Livestock and Veterinary (NLVD) Division is called to be at the very core of livestock development not only as a department which caters only for animal health issues but as one which encompasses animal health, veterinary public health and trade of animal and animal products.
The Division is expected to provide a conducive environment for livestock production to develop, he said. This will be achieved by ensuring that animal health measures and food safety standards with respect to animal products are being implemented by stakeholders, through effective official controls.
Mr Seeruttun announced that animal health measures and food safety standards derived from OIE Terrestrial Animal Health and the Codex Alimentarius respectively, and enshrined in the upcoming national Animal Health Bill will provide the basis for the development of a sustainable livestock industry.
According to him, the ability of NLVD to carry out credible official controls through inspection, audits and certification in the livestock sector is fundamental to building consumer confidence in the production and supply chain of livestock products and maintaining trustworthiness among trading partners.
“We should also provide the appropriate framework for our livestock industry to export their products to the international remunerative markets”, the Minister added.