Animal Health Services

Established on December 19, 2011, following the merger of the Animal Management Unit and the Department of Agriculture. The Animal Health Services is the division of the Department of Agriculture with the responsibility to prevent the introduction and spread of animal diseases, to protect and promote animal health, control the movement of animals and animal products into, from and within the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Division consist of four units: Import/Export Unit, Animal Welfare and Control, Inspections and Veterinary Services.

The role of the Division is to promote and protect animal health and welfare as well as public health (through veterinary public health), and to safeguard and promote food security through surveillance and inspection.

Primarily the Division works to prevent and control disease of animal origin across the various islands of the Turks and Caicos by employing measures and activities for farms, and other animal related establishments through constant surveillance and monitoring. We are also responsible for animal control, animal welfare and public policy concerning animal health and animal welfare.

Some of the functions we provide are:

  • Animal Welfare and Control
  • Disease Monitoring and Surveillance
  • Inspection and Certification of Animal Establishments
  • Import and Export Controls
  • Emergency Animal Disease Preparedness Management
  • Quarantine Pre and Post Entry
  • Clinical and Surgical Services
  • Carry out trainings, and public awareness campaigns

The Division is staffed by a dedicated team of professionals who are committed to the highest scientific standards in delivering the services we offer.

Importing Animals

Animal Health Services Division is charged with the responsibility for the importation of live animals, animal products, by-products other controlled commodities. Importers should make an application for the importation of live animals and other controlled commodities to the division. Subsequent to the submission of the application is made, we will:

  • Review the application and once all the import requirements are met, issue the appropriate import permit
  • Guide you through the process up to and including the issuance of the permit
  • Only accept into the country animals which have been subjected to a clinical examination by an Official Veterinarian of the exporting country and which are accompanied by an International Veterinary Certificate provided by the Veterinary Authority of the exporting country.

Animal products, by-products and other controlled commodities must also be accompanied by a valid international veterinary certificate and found to be sanitary by the Inspection Unit at the port of entry before they are permitted clearance to enter in accordance with the requirements of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Animals which are not accompanied by an international veterinary certificate conforming to the import requirements of the Turks and Caicos Islands may be refused clearance to enter. Under these circumstances the animal will be returned (at the owner´s expense) within 48 hours to the exporting country. The Turks and Caicos Islands does not have measures to quarantine at present. Therefore, animals that are found unhealthy at inspection will not be allowed to be re-exported, if they pose a sanitary risk to the country of export. In these instances, the animals will either be slaughtered or destroyed.

All importers must make sure that they have the most current information regarding the import requirements for the commodity they intend to import as well as completing the appropriate application form. The import requirements can be found on this website, otherwise contact the Department of Agriculture directly.

Exporting Animals

To facilitate the export of animals, animal products and other controlled commodities, Animal Health Services provide the destination (importing) country with official affirmations and declarations regarding the commodity being exported. We will:

  • Only authorise the exportation from the Turks and Caicos Islands, animals, animal products control commodities which are correctly identified and which meet the requirements of the importing country, including all tests, vaccinations and disinfection procedures as required by the veterinary authority.
  • Issue an International Sanitary Certificate attesting that the animals and animal products have been found to be clinically healthy and/or fit for human consumption and that they are of the health status agreed by the importing country and The Turks and Caicos Islands.
  • Make sure that transportation procedures meet the appropriate standards for animal welfare (live animals) and sanitation standards (animal products) in accordance with OIE recommendations.

To apply for an International Sanitary Certificate for live animals please see the certificates below.

  • International Sanitary Certificate for Small Animals
  • International Sanitary Certificate for Horses
  • General International Sanitary Certificate for Live Animals
  • International Sanitary Certificate for EU

Animal Welfare

The Animal Welfare Unit is responsible for animal control and welfare matters in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The unit is part of the Animal Health Services Division. There are two offices, one in Providenciales and the other in Grand Turk. The unit handles the licensing, humane trapping and impounding of stray dogs, investigating welfare breaches and liaising with humane organizations to promote good animal ownership.

  • Animal Welfare
  • Licensing of Dogs
  • Control of Dogs
  • Control of Animals

What is Animal Welfare?

The Animal Welfare and Control Unit would like to emphasize that all animals must be treated humanely at all times. Help us spread the word. Animal welfare should be remembered in these ‘five freedoms’:

Freedom from Hunger and Thirst: by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.

Freedom from Discomfort: by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.

Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease: by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.

Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour: by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind.

Freedom from Fear and Distress: by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

Every person who owns or is responsible for an animal, no matter why they are in charge of it, no matter what it is being used for and no matter how long it will be in their care; has a duty of care towards that animal and must ensure that the conditions under which that animal is bred or kept does not breach its welfare.

It is against to law to permit dogs to fight under any circumstances. Persons could be heavily fined or imprisoned for such activities.

The Welfare Unit reminds persons who are responsible for an animal that they must have regard to its:

  • Species
  • Degree of development
  • Adaptation and domestication
  • Physiological and ethological needs

Animals kept in husbandry systems in which their welfare depends on frequent human attention must be adequately inspected at least once a day to check that they are in a state of wellbeing. Animals kept in systems other than husbandry systems in which their welfare depend on frequent human attention must be inspected at intervals sufficient to avoid any suffering.

Any animals which appear to be ill or injured must be cared for appropriately without delay and where they do not respond to such care, veterinary advice must be obtained as soon as reasonably practicable. To ensure that undue suffering is precluded. If and where necessary, sick or injured animals must be isolated in suitable accommodation with, appropriate, dry comfortable bedding, to prevent further injuries or harm.

All animals must have freedom of movement for its species. Animals must never be restricted in such a way as to cause them undue suffering or injury. In cases where animals are regularly tethered or confined, appropriate space allocation must be given, taking into consideration their physiological and ethological needs.

Animals must be fed appropriately for their age and species. They must be fed with sufficient quantity in order to meet their nutritional needs as well as to maintain their optimum health. The diet must be balanced in its nutrient content. They must be fed according to their physiological needs and stage. Exceptions to this rule apply when a veterinarian so directs for health reasons.

All animals must have access to a suitable water supply ab libitum. Feeding and drinking troughs and bowls must be cleansed at least once daily and where more than one animal is housed together, there must be enough troughs and bowls to prevent competition.

Substances or drugs given to food animals as treatment or other products that has a manufacturer’s withdrawal period written on the label or in the drug monograph must not be slaughtered for food unless that withdrawal period has past.

Breeding procedures which cause, or are likely to cause, suffering or injury to any animal must not be practiced.

It is against the law for any person to apply an electrical current to any animal for the purposes of immobilisation.

Inspection

The Inspection Unitcomprises of personnel and inspection procedures from the Division. Some of the main functions are to carry out disease surveillance programmes, disease outbreak investigations and inspection of commodities entering and leaving the country. The Unit facilitates trade in animal, animal products and by-products by ensuring that they meet accepted sanitary standards, both local and international.

The unit inspects animal establishments to ensure that they meet the local animal health requirements and facilities which produce animal for human consumption to ensure that there is adherence to all sanitary measures, at all the various stages of the production chain.

The majority of inspections, however, are carried out at the ports of entry by our inspectors. Clinical examinations are performed on live animals to ensure that they are not carrying diseases or pests before they are granted entry into the country. Animal products are inspected to ensure that they are not contaminated or adulterated.

Veterinary Services

The Veterinary Services Unit is fitted with veterinary professionals with the responsibility to promote and protect animal health, public health (through veterinary public health), and to safeguard and promote food security through surveillance and inspection.

Clinical and surgical services are provided to the public by the Unit or in collaboration with local or external clinicians. The prevention, diagnosing and treatment of animal diseases are important to the welfare of all animals. The Unit provide various veterinary services to pet owners, to livestock farmers in order safeguard to promote food security.

Healthy pets, livestock and work animals, reduces the risk associated with the contraction and spread of epizootic and zoonotic diseases.

Who Are We

We are one of the Divisions under the Department of Agriculture that deals with all issues related to controlled commodities i.e. live animals, animal products and by-products and veterinary biological.

What are Controlled Commodities
  • Live animals
  • Animal products and by-products
  • Veterinary Biologicals e.g. vaccines, ova, semen
What We Do
  1. Regulatory
    • Setting of internationally acceptable Sanitary Standards for controlled commodities
    • Drafting Laws and Regulations governing controlled commodities
    • Issuance of import, sanitary certificates and animal licenses
    • Monitoring and licensing of animal establishments
    • Intercepting illegally imported controlled commodities
  2. Inspections
  3. Import License
  4. Veterinary Services
    • Deworming
    • Vaccination
    • Animal Care/Management
    • Microchipping
    • Coloobortaive Programmes
  5. Animal Control
    • Trapping of Strays
    • Adoptions
  6. Disease Surveillance
    • Disease Monitoring
    • Disease Reporting
    • Disease Investigation
  7. Animal Extension Services
    • Media Programmes
    • Brochures & Pamphlets
    • Mentoring & School Programmes
  8. Animal Welfare
    • Trapping Exercises
    • Investigating of Cruelty Cases
    • Adoptions / Ensuring the Welfare of animals are being upheld
International Health Certificates

Application Forms

Publications

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