Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Eugene Hamilton.

Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Eugene Hamilton, said that the death of livestock has a detrimental impact on the economy while speaking at the launch of the Dermatophilosis Disease Control Programme Tuesday at the Department of Agriculture Conference Room in Laguerite, Basseterre.

“Last year, we lost some animals that we ought not to have lost,” he said. “People might see it as some animals died, [but] that is not the whole picture. It caused economic loss for you and it caused economic loss for the country.

“When you do not produce food here, we have to import and when we import it, it is a drain on our foreign exchange,” he added.  “I don’t see your animals dying as your animals dead, I see the bigger picture and the impact it has on the overall economic well-being of the country. This is why I urged last year for you to provide the data so that I can put something together to impress my colleagues in government to respond in certain ways.”

The loss of many farm animals were a result of a resurgence in Dermatophilosis, a bacterial skin infection affecting multiple species of animals world-wide such as cattle, sheep, goats, deer and horses.