here for Procedure for the Acquisition of Import Permits
Animal Health Department, in its mandate to protect animal
health and life, provides those veterinary services that stimulate
the growth of the livestock industry. It assists in achieving
a level of animal production that can sustain the nations'
food of animal origin needs while contributing the necessary
veterinary support to the livestock industry, which can then
be expanded for export markets.
Valid import permit from BAHA. Applications can be submitted at any BAHA office. Where the permit
and conditions are faxed outside Belize, which is payable
upon entry - this permit bears a stamp stating 'pay upon
Meet conditions of importation that accompany import permit.
must have a recent veterinary certificate of health (14
(B) must have a valid rabies certificate: not less than
one month or more than one year prior to the date of importation
into Belize. This certificate can be included in the veterinary
(C) Other conditions as specified.
Dogs and cats which do not meet rabies requirements (as
less than three months of age) are to be confined at home
until they reach three months of age, at which time the
animal must be vaccinated against rabies and confined
for an additional 30days.
A BAHA veterinary officer or quarantine officer may inspect
animals placed in confinement to verify confinement and
rabies vaccination. This cost is to be borne by importer.
Dogs and cats arriving at a port of entry into Belize
without a valid permit. In addition, any dog or cat without
a valid rabies vaccination will be placed in confinement
until its rabies vaccination is valid (any cost associated
with this is to be borne by the importer.)
Quarantine inspection at the port of entry is required
for all dogs and cats. Dogs and cats coming from countries
considered of risk (for example, there is the risk of
screwworm in dogs and cats coming from South America)
will need to undergo veterinary inspection at the port
of entry. There is an additional fee for veterinary inspection.
Importer is to obtain a valid import permit.
Live animals will only be inspected at the authorized
port of entry specified on the import permit.
The Director of Animal Health is to be notified two (2)
days in advance of date and time of arrival of live animals
at point of entry. Veterinary inspection at point of entry
will be done only during daylight hours (9 am - 4 pm).
For your information, the telephone numbers of veterinarians
that can be contacted are:
Dr. Victor Gongora - Central Farm- Ph: 011-501-824 - 4872/99
(Director of Animal Health)
Dr. Joe Myers - O/Walk - Ph: 011-501-322-3257 (Quarantine,
Dr. Miguel Depaz - Central Farm - Ph: 011-501-824-4872/99
(Quarantine, Cayo District)
Dr. Miguel Figueroa - Belize City - Ph: 011-501-224-5230/4794
(Quarantine, Belize District)
Prior to the issue of an import permit for the importation
of live animals:
(A) Risk analysis may be
conducted including possible inspection of farm and area
of origin by BAHA veterinary Officer. Where the live animals
are to be in-transit through an area not free of a prescribed
disease, a BAHA veterinary officer may be required to
supervise the operation and accompany the pigs.
the Veterinary Officer in the district where the live
animals will be quarantined must certify that the quarantine
station meets minimal standards and has spoken to importer
re quarantine arrangements and costs.
The live animals will be inspected at the point of entry
by a Veterinary Officer of the Belize Agricultural Health
Authority. Live animals not permitted entry will be returned
to origin at the expense of the importer.
Any cost incurred in the processing of live animals for
entry into Belize will be borne by the importer.
Live animals allowed entry into Belize will be subjected
to a period of quarantine not less than thirty (30) days.
During quarantine the live animals may be retested and
must be negative to any test done before released from
quarantine. These costs as well as cost of supervision
during quarantine period including cost of any health
measure taken during the period are to be borne by the
The vehicles used to transport the live animals from the
port of entry into Belize to the quarantine station were
cleaned and disinfected.
No fodder or bedding accompanying the live animals will
be allowed entry. Any livestock gear accompanying the
live animals will be disinfected at the importer's expense.
The services of BAHA's Animal Health Department can be described
Import Risk Analysis for animals and animal products (Click
here for form)
importation of animals and animal products involves a degree
of disease and food safety risk to Belize. This risk needs
to be assessed in an objective and defensible manner to ensure
that the disease and food safety risks posed by imported goods
are identified and managed effectively. The WTO under the
SPS Agreement specifies that:
- Disease risk assessments should evaluate the likelihood
of entry, establishment or spread of a disease within
an importing country according to the measures which might
be applied, and the associated biological and economic
- Food safety risk assessments should evaluate the potential
for adverse effects on human or animal health from the
presence of pathogenic agents, additives, contaminants
or toxins in foods, beverages or feedstuffs.
general, an import risk analysis is conducted when:
- The goods* have never been previously imported. [* - animals,
animal products, animal genetic material, feedstuffs,
biological products and pathological material]
- The goods originate from a country or region not previously
- The health status of the country or region changes.
- There is new information on a particular disease.
- It is required that a country or region provide evidence
that an export good does not represent a significant risk
- The process of regionalization is initiated.
to be considered in an import risk analysis must be based
on science. Relevant factors include:
- Relevant processes and production methods.
- Relevant inspection, sampling and testing methods.
- The existence of eradication or control measures.
is the competent authority to commission import risk analyses,
to implement the recommendations and to draw up a schedule
of the proposed sanitary measures. BAHA, through SI 54 of
2004, includes site visits for verification purposes as a
part of the import risk analysis. Since 2003, BAHA has conducted
site visits in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica and the
USA. Countries such as Barbados, Argentina, Costa Rica and
Nicaragua have requested BAHA to conduct import risk analysis
for particular goods, inviting BAHA to also conduct the appropriate
are diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites
which are communicable from animals to humans and vice versa.
The most important Zoonosis affecting Belize is Rabies. The
Animal Health Department conducts a Vampire Bat Education
and Control Programme that targets the control of vampire
bat transmitted rabies in livestock. In addition, the department
frequently conducts rabies vaccination campaigns in partnership
with the Public Health Department of the Ministry of Health.
At present Belize is free from other serious zoonoses such
as bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis.
Risk management of other zoonoses transmitted via food should
focus on the primary production of foodstuffs, and the department
is developing on-farm food safety protocols that will complement
the sanitary controls and food safety programs in slaughterhouses
and food processing plants that is currently delivered by
BAHA`s Food Safety Department
offers veterinary laboratory diagnostic services at its Veterinary
Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) in Central Farm Cayo district.
VDL is staffed by skilled veterinary laboratory technicians
and support staff who can provide a comprehensive range of
diagnostic facilities and tests across a wide range of disciplines.
VDL is also linked with BAHA`s food and environmental testing
facility Central Investigation Laboratory (CIL) in
Belize City. Both laboratories can provide a comprehensive
range of competitively priced tests and services.
Veterinary facility at Central farm has a fully equipped post
mortem room for all farm animal species. Gross necropsies
are performed and samples are tested either locally or at
one of our reference laboratories. Veterinary diagnostic testing
in Clinical Biochemistry, Haematology, Bacteriology, Serology,
Parasitology and Virology are performed routinely to provide
diagnostic support to the livestock industry as well as for
functional Epidemiology Unit is a basic requirement for a
modern National Veterinary Service to ensure national, regional
and international epidemiological surveillance and collaboration
as an early warning system against animal disease outbreaks.
Epidemiological Surveillance also provides for transparency
in the administration of animal disease control and prevention
and the provision of reliable risk analysis data and information
for purposes of trade. BAHA has been doing risk assessments
on new animal products and animals imported from a new source.
Since 2000, risk assessments were done for tilapia from Taiwan,
alpacas from Chile, cattle from Mexico and Costa Rica, hides
from the U.S., pigs from Mexico, goats from Mexico and ham
from Italy via the U.S. Hazards for which import conditions
are required are defined as diseases exotic to the country
or for which a national control program exists.
The Veterinary Epidemiology Team also provides epidemiological
and statistical support to other departments within BAHA and
is required to prepare monthly disease reports to Regional
and International organizations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Veterinary Drugs and Animal Feed Registration Unit has
been established in BAHA to promote the safe use and control
of veterinary medicine and biologicals and animal feed in
Belize. This newly established unit is located at the Central
Investigation Laboratory in Belize City where importers of
veterinary medicinal products and animal feed can register
their products to be sold on the market. The unit ensures
that international code of practices for the safe use of veterinary
drugs as promoted by Codex Alimentarius is followed so that
consumers can not only be assured of the provision of safe
and effective veterinary medicinal products on the market,
but that residues of these products in animal origin food
is absent or below the internationally accepted Maximum Residue
Limits (MRLs) levels established for the drug. The Central
Investigation Laboratory provides the regulatory laboratory
support for this unit.
Animal Health Department remains active in providing animal
health services in the field, focusing primarily on preventive
has three Veterinary Clinics: the Orange Walk Veterinary
Clinic services the Northern districts of Corozal and
Orange Walk whereas the Central Farm Veterinary Clinic services the Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo Districts; the Belize
district is serviced by the Belize City Veterinary Clinic.
These clinics receive diagnostic support from the Veterinary
Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) at Central Farm, Cayo District,
and the Veterinary Laboratory at the Orange Walk Clinic.
offers a wide range of animal health services to farmers,
veterinarians, supply industries and those responsible for
recreational and domestic animals. Generally, the department
is mandated to promote animal health and welfare in order
to foster favourable conditions for economic animal production.
Further, by the provision of surveillance schemes and herd
health programs, BAHA will help to transfer and equip livestock
producers with adequate knowledge and skill for the proper
management and improvement of all available resources for
an efficient, sustainable livestock industry with an enhanced
capacity for positive contribution to the growth of the national
economy. A specific priority of the Animal Health Department
is the strengthening of animal disease control and surveillance
measures and the development of Emergency Preparedness Plans
with capacity building in disease risk assessment and management.
achieves these goals through partnerships with livestock associations
such as the Belize Poultry Association and the Belize
Livestock Producers Association and with its international
partners involved with regional animal health programs like Organismo Internacional Regional de Sanidad Agropecuaria
(OIRSA), and International Institute for Cooperation
in Agriculture (IICA).
animal health service of BAHA may be contacted at: