Parvo Virus Suspected on Grand Turk

The Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services (MOHAHS), Agriculture and Animal Health Services Division wishes to advise Grand Turk animal owners, that there appears to be an outbreak of Parvo virus on the Island of Grand Turk. This disease can be fatal to dogs especially puppies.
Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious disease that can produce a life-threatening illness. The virus attacks rapidly dividing cells in a dog’s body, especially in the intestinal tract. It also attacks the white blood cells. When young animals are infected, the virus can damage the heart muscle leading to lifelong cardiac problem. 
Symptoms of the virus are loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting and foul smelling often bloody diarrhea which can quickly lead to life threatening dehydration.
This extremely contagious disease can be transmitted by any person, animal or object that comes in contact with an infected dog's feces. The virus is very resistant, and survives in the environment for months. It is common for unvaccinated dogs to become infected when exposed to the virus.
Parvovirus is most harmful to puppies up to one year old and it is strongly recommended that they be vaccinated before exposing them to outside areas.  Older unvaccinated dogs are not severely affected by the virus but can still contract and shed it, thereby spreading it to different locations. The virus can exist in soil which has been the site of feces from infected dogs.  
It can be carried by shoes and walked into your yard where it can live in the soil for a very long time. Prevention methods include the disinfecting of your harder surfaces with the use of a strong solution of bleach.  
We are therefore recommending that pet owners have their animals:-
• Vaccinated as a preventative measure. 
• Not move animals from suspected infected areas to other areas.
• Contact a veterinarian If symptoms are noticed, if  unsure or notice diarrhea 
• Do not transport/ship dogs from Grand Turk to other islands without approval from the Department of Agriculture. 
• Exercise caution when handling sick animals.
The Department of Agriculture wishes to further advise the Grand Turk community that the veterinary team from Bark and Bliss Animal Wellness Centre on Providenciales will be in Grand Turk every Thursday to conduct test, vaccinations and treatments as necessary. These services will be provided at a cost. 
The veterinary team can be contacted at 649-232-2275 or the Department of Agriculture at 649-338-3881 or 338-3882.


The Turks and Caicos Government is pleased to both welcome and congratulate Ms. Latoya Williams on her appointment as a Human Resource Officer within the Office of the Deputy Governor’s Human Resource Management Directorate.

Ms. Williams graduated from within the top five of the H.J. Robinson High School’s graduating class of 2003 and later went on to become the salutatorian of the 2005 graduating class of the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College where she graduated with an Associate Degree in Business Studies.  Ms. Williams also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Barry University in Miami, Florida.

Upon her return to the Turks and Caicos Islands in 2009, Ms. Williams gained employment with Scotiabank (Turks & Caicos Islands) Ltd. where she held the position of Customer Service Representative from 2009 to 2011 and having exuded a strong determination to provide quality customer service to clients, Ms. Williams dedicated her time to also developing via online and cross training a deeper understanding of sales, which led to her being promoted in 2011 to the position of Personal Banking Officer; a post where she achieved much success, having been named as the Top Sales Officer for Turks and Caicos Islands and having been awarded the Country Award for the financial years 2013/2014 and 2014/2015.

Ms. Williams stated that she is both extremely ecstatic and grateful to be joining the team at the Human Resource Management Directorate and believes that the Human Resource Department is the heart of any organization as it provides life to the organization by nurturing and cultivating the people of the organization. “I have always been interested in the welfare of others and have sought to motivate and to encourage others, which I believe will aid me in my new role. I intend to bring a solid foundation of experience, dedication, leadership and professional integrity to the role; while upholding the standards of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government Public Service.  My time in the private sector has helped to develop invaluable communication, time management, self-discipline, relationship building, interviewing, solicitation and telemarketing skills, which I know will be an asset to my new role.”

Deputy Governor, Anya Williams stated; “We are pleased to welcome Ms. Williams to our HR team and we are happy that she has made the Turks and Caicos civil service her career choice.  As we commence a quite ambitious recruitment plan for financial year 2017/2018, we will be counting on Ms. Williams skills to assist in ensuring that the absolute best talent is engaged by TCIG and look forward to working with her as I am sure that she will be looking forward to working with the various ministries across government to fulfil their recruitment and HR management needs.” 

Minister of Tourism attends launch of Darwin Initiative ‘Saving the Iguana Islands’

On 7th April 2017, the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Ralph Higgs joined the National Trust as they prepared for the launch of the Darwin plus Initiative entitled ‘Saving the Iguana Islands’.

The National Trust in partnership with other stakeholders including the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds(RSPB), San Diego Global Zoo and Department of Agriculture amongst others, have, over the years diligently work to conserve the endemic Rock Iguana, and other native reptile species to secure a future for these unique and highly threatened species – which are iconic for the Turks and Caicos Islands and serves as a major attraction for both locals and visitors alike.

The project has received support from the Darwin plus Initiative in the form of £200k with £170k matched funding by RSPB and San Diego Zoo Global for a three year period. The organizations will collectively work to improve and control alien invasive species on Little Water Cay (‘Iguana Island’), particularly rodents and feral cats which are a threat to the iguana populations. Biosecurity for Little Water Cay and Big Ambergris Cay will also be designed to ensure that these invasive species and other potential harmful species do not become established and threatened the iguanas and other native reptiles.

Minister Higgs in his remarks stated; “My love, respect and admiration for the work and successes of the National Trust is well known and documented, the Darwin Initiative has the experience to make the Rock iguana project in TCI a resounding success.”

The Darwin Initiative funds projects that help countries rich in biodiversity to meet their objectives. Projects typically address threats to biodiversity such as: over-exploitation, invasive species, habitat degradation and loss, climate change mitigation and adaptation and pollution. 

The Minister confirmed the Ministry’s and Government’s continued support to projects such as these and also indicated his desire to see the Trust and Darwin Initiative partner on future projects.