The Ministry of Agriculture has started to roll out a National Livestock Identification and Tracking System as part of its efforts to modernise the agricultural sector.
The aim is to enhance animal identification and disease surveillance, assist with the procurement and supply of feed and other resources based on livestock population data, and also to monitor genetic and breed variation within the Cayman Islands.
At present, the system tracks imported livestock and include information on identity, ownership and geographic location. All information is stored electronically under the control of the Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Division.
Several head of cattle, which were recently imported to the Islands by the Cayman Islands Agricultural Society with funding support from the Ministry of Agriculture, have been incorporated under the new system.
Visual ear tags have been affixed to each animal by a member of the Veterinary Division with plans in place for an animal passport containing the same identification number as that on the ear tags to be issued to the owner. This document will be required to accompany the animal when moved from one establishment to another.
In commenting on the new development, Minister of Agriculture Hon. Jay Ebanks stated that the national livestock identification and tracking system will bring the Cayman Islands in line with international standards in farm to consumer supply chain trackability.
He further stated, “It is anticipated that in the future when the tracking system is fully implemented, livestock across all three Islands will be equipped with electronic identification tags, starting with cattle and goats, so that the movement of these animals, whether by sale or disposal by any means can be monitored by the system”.
Farmers interested in having their animals tagged can contact the Department at Agriculture via telephone at 947-3090. The service is free and requires no advance scheduling. Advice on record keeping will be provided to the farmers by staff in the Veterinary Division.