Councillor says formation of meat associations could help curb praedial larceny
FALMOUTH, Trelawny — Councillor for the Albert Town Division, Lloyd Gillings, is recommending the formation of meat associations in each parish to support all transactions involving slaughtered animals. This, he believes, will complement the proposed Jamaica National Animal Identification and Traceability System (NAITS) programme.
Gillings, whose division is located in southern Trelawny and relies heavily on agriculture, lauded Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Roger Clarke for the identification programme, which is expected to help curb praedial larceny.
"I believe that each constituency should set up a meat association and through that association, they will sell and buy along with the intervention of RADA. And the meat marts can only buy things through this association," Gillings reasoned.
"While RADA seeks to find out what the farmers are rearing, they would get the description of the animals and the registrations, as the minister said," he explained.
Gillings, who was speaking last Thursday at the monthly meeting of the Trelawny Parish Council, said that the current environment makes it too easy for praedial larcenists to sell their loot.
"Once you open the thing that everybody can sell on the roadside, then you won't solve the problem. Because I don't understand how can somebody steal 12 to 15 cows (during the night) and sell them by early in the morning. This is really a situation that we have to address. But if we have this meat association, then nobody can sell unless they are selling through the meat association," he explained.
Clarke, in his announcement in the House of Representatives recently, said that under the new programme every head of cattle will be tagged and issued a passport. The passport will contain critical information about the animal and will be mandatory for movement of all animal.
Incidentally, during last month's monthly meeting of the Trelawny Parish Council, Gillings advocated for the introduction of a passport system to facilitate the tracking
In the meantime, Gillings wants his proposed association to be first set up in the parish of Trelawny.
Gillings is an elected Jamaica Labour Party councillor, who has since crossed the floor and joined the governing PNP.
-- Horace Hines