By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
Azerbaijan will start the work on animal identification in 2020, Chairman of the Food Safety Agency Goshgar Tahmazli has told local media.
"The issue of animal health and disease prevention is very important for us because otherwise it is impossible to ensure food security," Tahmazli said.
He informed that the Agency with the Ministry of Agriculture will launch a pilot project for the identification of cattle, sheep and goats in Absheron district in 2020 and in other regions across the country in the future.
Tahmazi mentioned that since the beginning of 2019, as a result of veterinary and phytosanitary procedures, 665 tons of low-quality food products, 13,355 liters of alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages, and more than 800 tons of such foods have been neutralized. Moreover, import of 1,958 tons of food products were banned due to non-compliance with food safety standards.
Tahmazli added that Azerbaijan secures a leading position in the global food security index.
“This index is measured on a 100-point scale worldwide. Azerbaijan has scored 89 points on this index for consumed and imported foodstuffs in the region,” Tahmazli said.
He stated that 694 cases of food poisoning were recorded during the period of the Food Safety Agency of Azerbaijan.
Note that animal identification, using a means of marking is a process to identify and track specific animals. It is done for a variety of reasons including verification of ownership, bio-security control, and tracking for research or agricultural purposes.
According to the last (October 2018) report by the Global Food Security Index, Azerbaijan occupies the 56th place with 56.2 score among 113 countries. The report also presents “Strength” points for the country. In this regard, Azerbaijan obtained maximum score for “Proportion of population under global poverty line” and “Presence of food safety net programmes” categories.
Furthermore, Food Safety Agency fulfills a wide range of functions as a legal regulation of food safety standards (preparation and adoption of sanitation norms and hygiene standards), risk assessment, official registration of food products and so on. The executive body was founded on the Decree of the President Ilham Aliyev dated February 10, 2017.
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