Agriculture Ministry joins IICA in Collaborative Simulation Exercise to Strengthen TT Avian Influenza Preparedness

June 06, 2024:-  Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago – Yesterday (Wednesday 5th June, 2024), the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, in collaboration with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), successfully concluded a two-day table-based simulation exercise.

This exercise was aimed at updating and improving the Trinidad and Tobago Avian Influenza Contingency Plan (TTAICP) to safeguard the poultry population through containment and eradication of any possible Avian Influenza disease outbreak whilst minimizing the socioeconomic impact. In attendance were key stakeholders from the Poultry Association of Trinidad and Tobago (PATT), UWI School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM), Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This initiative underscores the importance of readiness, given the highly contagious nature of Avian Influenza and its potential impact on public health and the economy.

The objective of this two-day exercise was to evaluate stakeholders’ comprehension of roles and coordination protocols outlined in the national highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) contingency plan. Discussions surrounded various issues regarding a hypothetical, simulated emergency, creating an awareness among all stakeholders responsible for the Emergency Response System (ERS) of their roles and responsibilities in the event of an Avian Influenza disease incursion. Additionally, it assessed the strengths and weaknesses of the 2024 National Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Contingency Plan, identifying gaps in the proposed response and developing measures to address them in order to ensure that the TTAICP serves its purpose as a practical plan.

In delivering closing remarks, Senator the Honourable Avinash Singh, Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, emphasised the necessity of an “All-of-Government” approach in collaboration with the private sector in the implementation of such a contingency plan, as the security of the agricultural sector impacts the entire nation.

The successful execution of this simulation exercise underscores MALF’s steadfast commitment to safeguarding the poultry sector and ensuring the nation’s food security. Building on the success of the simulation, the Ministry and its partners aim to further refine and enhance the nation’s contingency plans and protocols for the protection of the nation’s poultry sector through continued engagement. We remain dedicated to strengthening the resilience of the poultry industry and protecting Trinidad and Tobago’s food and biosecurity.

 

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Senator the Honourable Avinash Singh, Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries alongside representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Poultry Association of Trinidad and Tobago (PATT), UWI School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM), Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).


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