By Ko Toe Gyi (LBV Dept.)
Arriving at Kutkai Town, one will notice the palpable new station that is now the jewel of the town.
The Animal Quarantine Station
The opening ceremony of the international standard Animal Quarantine Station was held on April 22, 2019, marking a new milestone for the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI). The event was attended by the Union Minister of MoALI Dr Aung Thu as well as Shan State Agricultural and Livestock Minister, Permanent Secretary along with other Director Generals, Departmental Heads, representatives of Bliss Myanmar International and the local populace, totaling up to 1250 people in attendance.
The MoALI Union Minister gave a speech about the abundant benefits from exporting livestock legally for not only the ministry but also the country’s economy as a whole. The station is expected to export up to 700,000 cows and buffalos without impacting the national supply as well as having minimal effect on the natural resources of Myanmar.
The Union Minister also encouraged technology and expertise sharing with the local livestock owners on yield.
The Animal Quarantine Station took three and half years to come to operation as one year was spent on getting the necessary export documents as well as inventory of stock and expected export volume. Another was spent on drafting and perfecting the Standard Operating Procedures with the last on making sure the station abides by the World Organization for Animal Health regulations (OIE).
Within the past three years (2016,2017, 2018), proper documentation and inventory was kept for the country with supplementary questionnaires, tables and other nationwide research carried out to come to a conclusion of the specific number for export. This is the perfect number for export out of the 11.5 million cows and buffalos that Myanmar has brought up without affecting domestic supply.
The Union Government published Notification No. (49/2017) concerning with export of cows and buffalos. Extra care was put in drafting the notifications so that it does not harm the resources in Myanmar. There was also a one-year pilot program for cattle export while the Standard Operating Procedures were drawn. Furthermore, to abide by international standards, there are Animal Quarantine Stations to survey, detect and contain communicable animal diseases as well as training given by international organizations and experts. OIE standards and regulations are also being applied to the station with formation MOUs signed as well as inspections done. Animal Quarantine Stations are crucial to exporting livestock to prevent outbreaks across international borders. There is a total of 5 ports of entry (2 airports and 3 seaports) as well as 6 border checkpoints for surveillance and detection of Trans-boundary Animal Diseases. The Kutkai station is also internationally certified and can check for such animal diseases that is important in exporting livestock. The station is equipped and will perform the lab work, meeting rooms, animal enclosures, and other measures necessary before exporting to another country.
Benefits for the Country
The Ministry hopes that such kinds of developments will not only improve the livelihood of the locals as well as the nation’s economy but also bring in technology, expertise for the country while making sure that there are enough detection, surveillance and containment measures taken to prevent Trans-boundary Animal Diseases. Translated by Myat Thu