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Law Amendments to Enhance Livestock Industry, Food Hygiene

laos

Amendments to the Law on Animal Husbandry and Veterinary are set to give a significant boost to livestock businesses, ensure environmentally friendly operations and provide hygienic food for consumers.

The law drafting committee told the National Assembly last week that the amendments are in line with the Party and government’s policies and hygienic standards of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Trade Organisation.

The changes will promote animal husbandry in Laos in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly manner to ensure food security towards production on a commercial basis, while ensuring safety for consumers.

The amendments highlight policies to facilitate the upgrade of currently nature-based animal husbandry into a modern animal husbandry industry.

The policies include the promotion of scientific research and experiments concerning animal husbandry knowhow, breeders, animal feed, and economic returns.

The relevant sectors are required to regulate breeders by registering their intellectual property rights, compiling information, and so on.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is mandated to develop technical standards and train professional researchers to carry out animal feed analysis to facilitate growth of the animal husbandry industry.

The state promotes investment in the livestock industry, while ensuring businesses will not adversely affect the environment or nearby communities.

The amendments prohibit farmers from feeding their livestock with growth-enhancing substances that also have side effects on human health. All production chain processes must follow safety guidelines, including those on chemical use.

The amendments also define measures to prevent animal disease outbreaks by requiring people who suspect the onset of any disease to inform authorities in charge of animal husbandry and veterinary affairs within 24 hours. Once a suspected disease is confirmed, the authorities are required to inform international organisations when it is deemed necessary. If the disease is found to have affected humans, the authorities are required to inform the health authorities within 24 hours.

Once informed of a potential disease, the authorities in charge of animal husbandry and veterinary affairs must take immediate action through preventive and response measures against any occurring disease.

These include identifying control zones, spraying chemicals to kill the suspected pathogen or disease, and prohibiting the movement of livestock.

A compensation policy is also outlined for farmers whose livestock are killed as part of response measures to prevent the disease from spreading.

The draft amendments to the law also require the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to put in place the necessary technologies, facilities and personnel capable of diagnosing animal diseases.

The amendments also identify stricter measures to inspect animal products before they are imported into Laos so as to prevent products containing a pathogen as well as contaminated food from entering Laos.

Stricter inspection is also required to be carried out in slaughterhouses before meat is sent to markets. The amendments also define the considerate treatment of animals.

Parties found to be violating this amended law will be penalised under measures outlined in the law and other relevant regulations and laws.

Source: Vientiane Times