July 10, 2020, US Virgin Islands – The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture (VIDA) is inviting
livestock farmers to attend a meeting on Friday, July 17th, 2020 from to 6 to 7 p.m. at the St. Croix Abattoir
located at #1 Estate Lower Love. The purpose of the meeting is to inform farmers about new procedures at
the abattoir including compliance with USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) standards, scheduling
& operational procedures, humane animal transport, farmer’s form completion, payment for services, and
processed meat pickup procedures. VIDA’s Veterinary Services division will also provide an update on
livestock services and support available to farmers.

To mitigate COVID-19 concern, social distancing will be instituted, and all attendees are required to wear
face masks.

VIDA’s Division of Abattoir Services is a red meat production establishment that receives cattle, sheep, goats and
pigs for slaughtering. These carcasses as well as by-products are processed for general public consumption
and sold to retail and wholesale outlets, in compliance with USDA FSIS guidelines. Carcasses are shipped
by refrigerated truck or insulated container as appropriate.

Of note, the St. Thomas Abattoir is also finalizing its facility repair and will undergo a separate review of USDA
FSIS compliance analysis and an update to documentation immediately upon the opening of the St. Croix Abattoir, to
expedite reopening.

We here at VIDA would like to thank the public for their patience while we made the necessary repair and
updates to better serve our community and increase our local food security.

For more information on the July 17th, Abattoir Facility Use Meeting contact VIDA on St. Croix at (340)
778-0997 or visit our website at http://doa.vi.gov.

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JULY 14, 2020, US Virgin Islands – Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the territory the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture will be curtailing hours, effective immediately to limit exposure and promote the safety and well-being of our employees, customers, and the Virgin Islands community at-large.

VIDA will modify business hours effective Monday, July 13, 2020 to be open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. This will provide critical support of our community’s effort to increase food production. We encourage our customers and farmers to limit visits to our offices unless purchasing seedlings, feed, or other agricultural supplies on those days.

For documents requiring signature: Please deliver them to the office on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday and the documents will be returned to you on the following open business day.

Otherwise, most required forms or documents are available on our website at https://doa.vi.gov or they can be emailed directly to you. For more information, please email us at info.doa@doa.vi.gov.

For inquiries outside of these hours, please contact us at (340) 778-0997, on St. Croix; (340) 774-5182, on St. Thomas; or (340) 776-6274, on St. John. Visitors to our offices will be required to maintain our social distancing policy of six (6) feet at all times.

Veterinary Services are essential and on-going, please contact Dr. Bethany Bradford at (340) 642-7320 or email her directly at bethany.bradford@vi.gov.

We will continue to sanitize and maintain markets that have been officially reopened by VIDA. Please be reminded that masks are mandatory for vendors and patrons.

In these anxious and uncertain times, we urge our community members to keep safety in mind, as we at VIDA continue to serve in our mission to develop, support, and promote an economically lucrative agricultural industry in the US Virgin Islands while protecting consumers, farmers, and the environment.

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June 18, 2020, US Virgin Islands – The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture (VIDA) invites community members to a discussion regarding the regulations for livestock owners in the Territory on June 30, 2020 at 5:30 pm. This virtual meeting will be held via Zoom using link https://bit.ly/3fyAZqV. Additionally, you may call +1 (346) 248-7799 and enter the Meeting ID: 951 1961 2407.

This meeting is the first step in educating farmers on pertinent livestock regulations and enforcing with law. VIDA will be working with farmers and community members to follow best practices for raising healthy animals and producing a safe and wholesome food product. We will specifically cover the following subsections in preparation for enforcement.

  • Proper feeding and care:
    • Owners are responsible for providing the proper feed, shelter, water, and veterinary care for their animals at all times.
  • Stray animals:
    • “(1) that animals straying on public highways and other places private or public, constitute a danger to the public health, safety and convenience, are destructive of property, increase traffic hazards and expose such animals to inhumane suffering.”
  • Identification and registration of animals:
    • “(a)No person shall own, keep or harbor any donkey, horse, mule, sheep, cattle, hog, or goat, two months old or older, unless such animal is branded, tagged, [micro-chipped,] or tattooed …”
  • Impound:
    • “(a) Any animal found running at large, or tied on public property, or on private property without the consent of the owner of the property, shall be taken up by animal wardens …”

For more information, please visit our website: http://doa.vi.gov/livestock-meetings/ .

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June 8, 2020, US Virgin Islands – The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture (VIDA) is urging farmers to practice water and soil conservation practices. The benefits of which are increased yields per unit of land, better production per unit of labor, and improved reliability of yields. We encourage farmers to utilize VIDA’s Conservation & Forestry programs or contact UVI’s Cooperative Extension Service for more assistance.

As an update, VIDA St. Croix will be suspending its Soil Giveaway Program beginning Monday, June 15, 2020 until further notice.

Additionally, due to the overwhelming demand on our water systems, the VIDA St. Croix campus will be implementing and enforcing the following water schedule and policies beginning on Monday, June 15, 2020:

  • Water Tanks at the Rudolph Shulterbrandt Agricultural Complex
    • Tuesday & Thursday, 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
    • Saturday & Sunday, 6:00 am – 12:00pm
  • Community Gardens
    • Tuesday & Thursday, 7:00 am – 3:00 pm
    • Saturday & Sunday, 7:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Farmers must have a Water Pass.
  • Farmers will be restricted to a limit of 500 gallons per day.
  • Water facilities will be CLOSED on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday.

In the St. Thomas district, Farmers are reminded that taps on existing water systems are illegal and will be removed at the Department’s discretion. Please DO NOT modify or change the direction of water flow without prior authorization.

For more information or questions, please contact the St. Croix Department of Agriculture at (340) 778-0997 or the St. Thomas Department of Agriculture at (340) 774-5182. Finally, consider reading the Food and Agriculture Organization’s document on the best conservation practices at: https://bit.ly/2ASb2mV

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