The Animal Health and Protection Act 2016 directs us to: regulate the trade in animals and animal products in order to prevent the introduction and spread of animal diseases; protect and promote animal health; and to regulate animal production through good agricultural practices.
The Food Quality and Safety Act 2016 directs us to: regulate the safety and quality of all food (inc. fish and meat) at every stage of the supply chain; and to protect both human health and consumer interests, including fair trade practices.
The Plant Protection Act 2016 directs us to: regulate the trade in plants, plant products, and other regulated articles, in order to to protect and promote the health of the environment (including forestry and wild flora) by preventing the introduction and spread of plant diseases and alien species.
BAHFSA has been incorporated to oversee laboratories, veterinary services, phytosanitary controls, quarantine zones, and emergency response procedures.
We work with every government department, and are required to maintain electronic registers, issue permits, conduct inspections, and shut down any threat to health.
In 2015, 4 pieces of important legislation were passed in the Parliament of The Bahamas, which came into force in 2016.
The Food Safety and Quality Act (2015) repealed and replaced the Food Act to provide for more comprehensive enforcement of staff and premises, overseen by a national Director. The Animal Health and Production Act (2015) repealed and replaced the Animal Contagious Diseases Act, and brought the Bahamas into compliance with the EPA and WTO SPS agreements. The Plant Protection Act (2015) repealed and replaced the previous Plant Protection Act, aiming to provide a broader national policy on phytosanitary controls and pest management.
The Bahamas Agricultural Health and Food Safety Authority Act created a new national government regulator, BAHFSA, to coordinate the implementation and management of these 3 Acts of environmental health legislation. A single agency with a national Director under whom the information and controls would be applied.
"There shall be established a body to be known as The Bahamas Agricultural Health and Food Safety Authority which shall be governed by the provisions of this Act."
A single regulatory body for the more efficient, effective, transparent and coordinated administration of matters dealing with food safety, animal and plant health. A framework to ensure that there is harmonization among public sector agencies in order to ensure the highest levels of food safety and protection of animal and plant health.
A junction point to faciliate collaboration between public bodies and the technologically-powered private enterprise sector. Strategies and policies for food safety and quality, plant health, and animal health, including procedures for emergency response - implemented to protect consumers and domestic flora and fauna.
If you own or work in an animal establishment, buy/sell/import/export animal products, or own an animal, you need to talk to BAHFSA.
If you own or work in a food establishment, buy/sell/import/export food products, or handle food you need to talk to BAHFSA.
If you own or work in a plant establishment, buy/sell/import/export plants or plant products, or own plants, you need to talk to BAHFSA.
The Bahamas had a loosely-enforced regulatory environment based on necessity and emergency, resting on the trust of the government in the private sector's self-governed practices and investigation when required.
Registers, Permits, Notices
All businesses concerned with animals, plants, or food in any way need to be registered with BAHFSA and obtain specific permits for each of those activities. Importers, handlers, and establishments must be approved and certified by the regulator, or face enforcement action (including closure).Get Help
BAHFSA is currently based in the offices of the Ministry of Agriculture in Nassau, New Providence Island, Bahamas. It's Chairman is Mark Humes MP, and it's Director is Christopher Worrell.
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