The Players

Programmes for the humane treatment of animals all over the world involve both public and private partners. Jamaica is no different and as such we have a raft of agencies, regulatory bodies, professional organizations, non-government organizations and volunteers who are engaged in providing services for the welfare of animals.

The Government of Jamaica

Ministry of Agriculture sets policy framework, develops/updates laws.

Jamaica Veterinary Board

The Jamaica Veterinary Board has the responsibility for administering The Veterinary Act which governs the registration of Veterinary Surgeons; enrolment of Animal Health Assistants and disciplinary proceedings involving unprofessional conduct by veterinary professionals. The Board’s mandate is focused primarily on the protection of the public and animals through the provision of veterinary services, by persons who are duly qualified and registered professionals.

Its functions include:-

  • Registration of Veterinary Surgeons.
  • Enrolment of Animal Health Assistants.
  • Regulation of the training of persons for enrolment as Animal Health Assistants.
  • Ensuring the maintenance of acceptable standards of professional conduct by veterinary professionals.
  • Maintaining the Register of Veterinary Surgeons.
  • Maintaining a Roll of Animal Health Assistants.
  • Enforcement measures occasioned by non-compliance.
  • Establishment of standards for the practice of veterinary medicine.
  • Independent communication with the public on regulatory requirements and decisions.

Veterinary Services Division
The Veterinary Services Division oversees national health, animal status and welfare through its various services offered island-wide. The Division operates a Diagnostic Laboratory service for the protection of the livestock industry; it certifies the health of animals; it is involved in the import/export inspection of live animals, meats and meat products; and it offers artificial insemination services for cattle, pigs and goats. It also provides early warnings and alerts for disease which may threaten the island and are responsible for importation and quarantine of live animals.

Wildlife Conservation Programme
To ensure the protection of Jamaica’s wildlife, the Agency responds to wildlife reports. In certain cases, where the wildlife has become displaced and is found in a human-populated area, a decision might be made to relocate the animal to a more suitable habitat in keeping with guidelines for the management of the species. The Agency always strives to ensure both the safety of the animal and the people and promotes appreciation towards our wildlife, while encouraging coexistence through its public awareness and education programmes.

The Agency actively monitors species that are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act. Conducting wildlife population assessments provides important information for wildlife management, contributing to the conservation of the species. Information on a species can be collected through ecological surveys, questionnaires, literature reviews and reports from the public. The Agency’s long-term monitoring programs have focussed on the implementation of various conservation measures documented in species management or actions plans. Currently these plans are in place for species such as the Jamaican Iguana, American Crocodile, Jamaican Boa, Bats, Sea Turtle, Swallowtail Butterfly, West Indian Manatee, Yellow-billed and Black-billed parrots.

Non-Governmental Organizations

Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA)
The JSPCA has been working in Jamaica for more than a hundred years. Its main mission is to promote the compassionate treatment of animals through education,  advocacy, veterinary care, and the placing of unwanted animals in loving homes. It strives towards improvement of the conditions of animals in the ponds and abattoirs, as well as the racetrack and riding establishments in Jamaica. One of its major goals is to amend the 1904 Cruelty to Animals Act & the Pound Laws. Increasing the fines to levels that will constitute a real deterrent, and to give JSPCA more authority to take suitable action against those who inflict harm, pain or suffering on animals. 

The Hope Zoo
Hope Zoo was opened to the public in 1961, established in the Royal Botanical Gardens nestled in the shadow of the lowest foothills of the Blue Mountain range. Hope Zoo was conceived as a Caribbean Zoo aimed to display a wide variety of animals from around the world while promoting awareness and conservation of our local Jamaican wildlife. Today, Hope Zoo exhibits a diversity of exotic animals but has also established a reputable name as the primary entity for wildlife rescue & conservation in Jamaica. As a sanctuary for native wildlife, Hope Zoo works closely with our government colleagues at NEPA to rescue & rehabilitate native birds and reptiles. 

Since 1991, Hope Zoo has also been home to the world-famous conservation programme for the Jamaican Iguana (Cyclura collei). We have been one of the essential components ensuring the survival and recovery of this Critically Endangered species, with over 500 iguanas released back into the wild to date. We are proud.

The Hope Zoo Preservation Foundation
The Hope Zoo Preservation Foundation was established to ensure the long term sustainability of the Hope Zoo. In 2011 the Foundation took over the management of the Zoo, it is a non-profit entity that plays a sterling role in wildlife rescue, education, and the new animal therapy programme endorsed by the Minister of Health. The Foundation carries out a continuing role in the growth and efficient operations of the zoo.

Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association JVMA
The objectives of the Association include the advancement of the science and art of veterinary medicine including its relationship to public health and agriculture; the promotion of interest in veterinary work and education; the promotion of co-operation between the veterinary profession and allied professions.

Montego Bay Animal Haven (MBAH)
Montego Bay Animal Haven, was founded in 2009 to raise awareness of the plight of stray and abandoned animals and to try to tackle the problem in northwest Jamaica. Since 10th January 2019 Angela’s Army of Angels is looking out for strays in Kingston. At that time, approximately 1,000 animals were rehomed. And thanks to the rolling programme of clinics, run in conjunction with both local and overseas veterinary professionals, many more have been spayed or neutered. 

As a registered non-profit organization, we rely completely on donations, both time and money. Every little bit helps. The Haven currently operates from a private home, a situation which is far from ideal, but we now have a farm location, which allows us to help more varieties of animals. We aim to:

  • Educate and encourage people within communities to take pride and love in all things associated with their home town including the animals. To cut down on the number of stray animals; to provide advice and any medical help required by the animals in their community.
  • Educate people to have compassion for themselves and others so that we can return to a sense of community and family. One of the best ways to do this is to reconnect with the animals. Visit every school in Jamaica to share, educate and involve the next generation to have compassion and care for the animals in their communities. Spay and neuter as many stray animals as possible re-home and/or arrange adoptions for all animals under our care.

We Need Your Help!

Help make a difference to an animal welfare organization today! Your contribution can provide shelter, food, medical care, and other essential resources to animals in need.

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