USDA continues to support Georgia for improving animal health throughout the country (November 14)

USDA continues to support Georgia for improving animal health throughout the country (November 14)

 

Eighteen members of Georgia’s National Animal Health Program (NAHP) Steering Group met today to mark the capstone of another successful year for improving animal health throughout the country. This thematic co-ordination group of animal and human health experts represented by international donor agencies, non-profit organizations, academics and chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture has made great strides since its formation in 2009.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Colorado State University and Georgia Institute of Public Affairs are founding members of this Steering Group and have been active in promoting its objectives with support from the U.S. State Department.

“The National Animal Health Program and Action Plans enables us to discuss, plan and effectively coordinate our responses to emerging diseases with national and international partners” said Nodar Kereselidze, First Deputy Minister of Agriculture.

Well-functioning national governance and processes for animal health and welfare supports safe food for consumers, increased trade and minimizes the risks of spreading infectious diseases. To achieve these goals, since 2009 the Group has developed three versions of a NAHP strategy that describes the high level priorities for animal health in the country and framework for action. After years of refinement this strategy was formally adopted by the Government of Georgia in July of 2017 by Ministerial decree.

In addition, the committee discussed the parliamentary hearing on veterinarian education that it has argued should return as a regulated profession. A historical photo marking this achievement and the official status of the NAHP was taken.

“Building the next generation of trained veterinarians in Georgia in the government and private sector is essential to improve the performance of veterinary services, animal health and disease detection.  The NAHP and it Steering Group provide an excellent model for interaction with interested parties” Debby Reynolds, Colorado State University.