First vet in the Maldives seeks national animal health act

Authorities in the Maldives are currently working with international parties including as the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to try and prepare a national animal health act in the nation, a recently appointed veterinary expert working in the country has said.

Dr Jeewaranga Dharmawardane, a Sri Lankan veterinarian of some 30 years experience who came to the Maldives two months ago,  told Minivan News that alongside tending to the nation’s beloved and not-so-beloved pets such as cats and birds, he is also helping to oversee new regulation in relation to national standards on keeping animals.

According to Dharmawardane, who now acts as a veterinarian for the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, the draft bill will outline a legal framework for protecting and maintaining animal health that does not currently exist in the Maldives.  The vet claimed that these laws could also form a part of wider overhauls to help the country meet its potential for agricultural production in the country both in terms of livestock as well as producing manure that can aid crop quality.

“In the times to com, imports to the country have to be reduced,“ he said.  “The government hopes to be self sufficient [in terms of supplying its agricultural needs] by between 15 to 20 percent in the next two to three years.”

Dharmawardane said that the ministry is also looking to establish quarantine and monitoring services at Maldivian seaports for animals being bought in and transported around the country.

“It will possibly take a few months to establish this,” he said.

After decades of working in veterinary and research fields within the Sri Lankan civil service, Dharmawardane now works with the Maldivian Agricultural Ministry travelling consulting on animal health either in homes, or at the country’s small number of farms.

So far he said that he had visited “three to four islands” outside of Male’, but would travel where the ministry required him to visit.

The government veterinarian added that he “didn’t see many differences in the type of animals” that were being kept as between Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

“In the last two months Maldivians have contacted me in regards to problems within their pets, as well as concerns for goats and some on poultry,” he said.

“The types of animals have generally been quite conventional, except of course there are no dogs.”

Alongside his own experiences, Dharmawardane added that the ministry also employed a specialist microbiologist to provide laboratory assistance.

Dharmawardane said that he did not have a veterinary practice as of yet to deal with individual concerns on animal health, but worried Maldivian pet owners could contact the Ministry of Agriculture for further assistance or possible consultation on 3322625.

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20 thoughts on “First vet in the Maldives seeks national animal health act”

  1. Hmmm, I am thinking of taking my cute macaw Ozzy to see the vet. It's good that the government has finally brought along a vet. Previously, however, the situation was very bad for pet owners.

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  2. How can we have a Vet act when we r struggling to have a Human health act? *scratching head hard *

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  3. First vet can even start an association of vets and can be the president for life. And even start a political party of vets with him as the only member..

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  4. this is not true? how can he be the first vet cox even in 2009 a newzeland veterinarian Dr.Haneef worked in the ministry for 6months and also a very experienced indian veterinarian Dr.Arumugan still works in Maldives food and drug authority and if i am not wrong he has helped the ministry of fisheries several times during bird flue other outbreaks.

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  5. I don't think we need pets in the country...wot a waste of time and precious resources. We have more other important issues to be addressed...

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  6. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. Mahatma Gandhi

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  7. It's the same every single time: when finally there is some legislation and help for animals - who are sentient beings who often suffer terribly at the hands of humans and are just as deserving of being treated with respect and humanity - there are those who say that it is wrong and all help should be concentrated on humans. How many doctors work in the Maldives? Compare that to just one vet for all animals in the Maldives! Stop complaining and be grateful that finally there is at least a little bit of help for animals who up to now had now protection and help at all in the Maldives. As Ghandi said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. Wise words.

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  8. Are pets allowed in religion? No

    Did the messenger entertain pets? No

    So beat it. Beat the crap out of these birds.

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  9. ali thi beyfulhaa ah maa bondo engifa thihiry 😀 maran vy thikahala mees meehun :S buraanthi kaifa thibi :S allah dhooni sooofaa soofi lehvy maran tha?? 😮 hitha araa mage athu theege meeheh jeheyne nama ey :S maraalan :S

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  10. Perhaps have some Minivan readers read my letter to the editor and the various reactions on my letter describing my plans of establishing a non profit veterinary clinic in Malé (see under the menu: Letters")
    I have e-mailed the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, when I to my astonishment read that a veterinary service already has been established. I have put my plans of establishing a non profit clinic for cats and birds and exotics and other animals in Malé on a hold, as I do not want to interfere or compete with a vet employed by the Ministry. As I have 54 years of experience in clinical veterinary practice - large and small animals and have helped establishing climics in many countries - sometimes under difficult conditions, I have offered the Ministry my assistance, if wanted. So far I have had no reply.
    I have had some positive results of fundraising from external funds not influecing others attempts on raising funds for e.g. establishing human medical care.
    If there still should be a need for "remote consultations" for some pet-owners with cats birds etc. I am available on phone: +45 62 22 66 22, e-mail: [email protected] or skype: 1tangovet.
    Best wishes
    Søren Nielsen
    Veterinary surgeon

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  11. We certainly need a vet service in Maldives. There are a lot of animals in Male'. They live in herds and graze on stupidity. It'd be great if there was a vaccine for this lot.

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  12. This is a very good thing. I have seen many cats and dogs in Maldives. Even I would love to adopt a cat. But I'm worried due to no Vet is available in Maldives. Now I have no fear with it.

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