The Office International des Epizooties (OIE) or the World Animal Health Organization is the international organization that develops and promulgates standards for promoting animal health. As the Competent Authority for animal health in Belize, BAHA`s Techinical Director of Animal Health is Belize’s official delegate to this standard setting organization who plays an active role in the development of animal health standards that provide for transparency and equivalence in trade of animals and animal products.
Although the SPS Agreement recognizes the right of governments to restrict trade when necessary to protect animal health, these measures taken should have a scientific basis, not unjustifiably discriminate between countries, and should follow the principles of transparency and equivalence, principles that are embraced and routinely practiced by the Veterinary Services of BAHA.
BAHA has the relevant legislation and administrative protocols that clearly demonstrates the procedures and certification requirements to be followed for the importation and export of animal and animal origin commodities.
On-farm quarantine stations are approved prior to importation, based on a protocol stating that a BAHA veterinarian will visit the quarantine station within 24 hours of entry and then once weekly. The duration of quarantine is standard, 30 days. The importer covers all costs. On-farm quarantine is documented for approval, monitoring, and release.