St. Kitts Agriculture Open Day To Include Veterinary Services For The First Time Ever

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Basseterre, St. Kitts – For the first time in its history, the 29th Edition of the Agriculture Open Day in St. Kitts slated for Thursday, April 25, and Friday, April 26, 2024, at the Royal Basseterre Valley National Park, will include veterinary (VET) services, introducing a new dimension to the event focusing on animal welfare and public health.

“The St. Kitts and Nevis Veterinary Board will be adding another dimension to the Agriculture Open Day and this is really focusing on animal welfare. In particular, we will be focusing on dogs and how taking care of them can affect human health, as well as food safety and security,” said Dr. Tracey Challenger, Agriculture Development Advisor, on the April 17 edition of InFocus.

Dr. Challenger stated that the Veterinary Board will provide practical demonstrations of veterinary medicine, including essential services like vaccinations, deworming, and dog licensing.

Highlighting the importance of disease prevention, Dr. Challenger referenced the World Health Organization’s ‘One Health’ initiative – an initiative that advocates for an integrated approach to ensuring the well-being of people, animals, and the environment, encouraging cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration for sustainable solutions.

“Of the diseases that affect humans, 60 percent of them are zoonotic. So they come from either livestock or companion animals,” she explained. “We have chosen to zero in on zoonotic diseases that can be transmitted to humans through dogs, such as leptospirosis, hookworms, and tapeworms. As time goes on, we will add to the list of zoonotic diseases.”

Dr. Challenger also announced that the first 50 vaccinations – 25 each on Thursday and Friday – will be offered free of charge to persons visiting the veterinary section with their dogs at the Agriculture Open Day. One vaccine will be administered per dog owner. Subsequent vaccinations will be available at a reduced cost of EC $30, compared to the regular price of EC $55.

Chaira Flanders, Head of Media and Communications at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Marine Resources, stressed that a controlled environment will be maintained for the animals receiving VET services.

“There is going to be a specific entrance for persons to use when entering the fair specifically to get the treatment that is being offered by the VET Board,” she stated. Flanders also requested that owners ensure large dogs are leashed to maintain safety and order during the event.

The 29th Edition of the Agriculture Open Day will be held under the theme: “Securing Our Future Through Sustainable Agriculture by 2025 and Beyond.”

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