…Guyanese advised to desist from importing animals – GLDAIn light of Guyana’s accomplishment of the Foot and Mouth disease-free status, residents are advised to desist from importing animals from its neighbouring country, Brazil, as this can pose as a threat to the country’s status.This was revealed by the Guyana Livestock Development Authority, which noted that although this may not be the case, it is important that residents are made aware and precautions are taken to avoid any negative effects in the future.Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the GLDA, Dr Dwight Waldron, noted that the organisation is trying to avoid the importation of animals from the country by effortsDr Waldron preforming an autopsy on a dead chickento maintain the availability of these animals in Guyana.“This is why as part of our Agricultural Development Plan for the region, we are making the animals available to you to ensure that such incidences are avoided,” he noted.If in any case, an animal is found to be positive when tested for the disease, it was revealed that the GLDA would be forced to slaughter all the animals of the respective region and embark on a countrywide Livestock Health and Production Sensitisation programme.This in turn, would have implications for the current status which the country holds.However, persons are reassured that there is no need to buy vaccines for Foot and Mouth disease which is currently a practice since as Guyana is free of the disease, and has been so for more than a decade.In wake of the recent epidemic of high poultry morality in Region Eight, Dr Wadron had been dispatched to the region to address this issue.The situation of improper animal husbandry began some months ago with the frequency of just a few chickens dying every week in Itabac. Recently, the number has skyrocketed to 20 at once and was brought to the attention of the Agriculture Minister Noel Holder during an outreach to the region.While addressing the concerns of the residents, Waldron noted that a proper diagnosis would only be possible with an analysis being conducted by the veterinary laboratory, after collecting samples of the dead birds. Consequently, he advised that arrangements should be made by the village to have the remains of a dead bird sent to the city for analysis.During his visit, an on-the-spot autopsy was conducted on a bird which had recently died to determine the preliminary cause of death. At the end of the procedure, it was determined that there was a high rate of parasites and signs of haemorrhage in the intestine.“When you look at the colour of the faeces it is consistent with coccidia and electrolyte which is a bacterium [and] the coccidia is a protozoan. The good thing is that both can be treated,” Waldron stated.Findings from the autopsy also revealed that there was congestion in the lungs due to the infection. The officer highlighted that animal husbandry should be properly conducted so as to not only prevent the loss of birds but also to ensure that diseases are not transferred during human consumption.“It is important that you follow the advice of our extension officers when it comes to feeding your animals… in addition to feed, probiotics are also important,” he advised.The Toshao of Itabac, Alexander David and Regional Councillor, William Peters who were present during the autopsy, were advised to look for similar symptoms in the remaining poultry and the medications that are to be administered.