Drug regulation vital


THE regulation of veterinary drugs should be put under National Agriculture Quarantine Inspections Authority (Naqia) Act because it is part of livestock and agriculture, the authority’s general manager Dr Nime Kapo says.
Kapo told a workshop last week that the regulation and monitoring of veterinary drugs came under the National Cosmetics and Medicine Act and only vet vaccines were regulated by Naqia.
He said vet medicines had direct impact on agriculture and livestock so under the review, it should be placed under Naqia to create a system for vet medicines.
“In PNG, we do not have too many veterinarians, we still lack vets and man-power and resources. At a time when the Agriculture Protection Division got moved to Naqia, the Veterinary Authority moved to Naqia so it became the Veterinary Authority of PNG,” Kapo said.
“The National Agriculture Quarantine Inspections Authority (Naqia) is mainly a bio-security authority of PNG so it mainly relates to protection of PNG against plant and animal disease – what endemics and normal diseases that affect plant and agriculture products.
“One of the big disease that comes into PNG may be influenza, so it is about protecting PNG from pests and diseases – about protecting our agriculture, fisheries, environment.”
Chief veterinary officer Dr Gibasa Asiba said Naqia had three divisions – corporate, administration and operations.
“We have an operations division at the borders, checking cargo and people travelling in and out and there is a technical division that provides technical support. All the imports that we get in, including some food staff is based on the import-risk assessment as our role requires technical leadership in animal and plant health.”

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