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Jurisdictions Surveyed: Angola | Argentina | Botswana | Bulgaria | Cambodia | China | Democratic Republic of the Congo | Côte d’Ivoire | Egypt | Gabon | Georgia | Ghana | Greenland | Guyana | India | Indonesia | Kazakhstan | Liberia | Nepal | Pakistan | Russia | Thailand | Turkey | Vietnam
Appendix: Mexico | Saudi Arabia | United Arab Emirates | United Kingdom

Guyana

Guyana is located in northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela. As of July 2020, its population was estimated at 750,204. Guyana occupies a territory of about 83,000 sq. miles.[1]

Wild meat is said to be

“. . . one of the traditional culinary delicatessen” in Guyana and “is sold freely in different places, in stylish or popular restaurants, in bars (locally known as “rum bars”, in which it is sold with plantains or french fries as snack), in private houses or on the road side . . .  Guyana’s inhabitants, indigenous or from Indian or African origins, hunt and trade wildmeat as a source of food, to generate income or as a traditional hobby.[2]

While no specific legislation regulating markets or the sale of wild meat has been identified, the Guyanese Food and Drugs Act of 1971 prohibits the manufacturing, preparation, preservation, packaging, or storing of any food under insanitary conditions.[3] Such conditions apply to circumstances that “may contaminate a food . . .  with dirt or filth or render the same injurious to health or unsafe for use.”[4]

On May 15, 2019, the Guyanese parliament reportedly passed the Food Safety Bill, which was originally introduced in 2016.[5] The bill provides for the establishment of a food safety authority that will be responsible for ensuring that all agricultural produce destined for human consumption “are of the highest quality and are produced under the strictest of hygienic conditions and are not capable of causing harm to the consumer.”[6]

The bill provides for the appointment of food analysts and inspectors for purposes of its implementation.[7] Additionally, the bill regulates food establishments, among others, by licensing and instituting operating procedures to ensure food safety.[8] The bill authorizes the Minister of Agriculture, among others, to issue implementing regulations for the inspection of markets.[9] Although anticipated to come into force on February 3, 2020, such regulations have not been identified. A search of the Laws of Guyana has also not identified a final text of the Food Safety Act.[10]

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Prepared by Ruth Levush
Senior Foreign Law Specialist
August 2020


[1] See Guyana, CIA, The World Factbook (updated June 17, 2020), https://perma.cc/M2CS-U65Y.

[2] Center for International Forestry Research, Wildmeat in Guyana’s Coast (June 2, 2016), https://perma.cc/5VXP-JMWM.

[3] Food and Drugs Act (Act No. 12 of 1971), § 1, Laws of Guyana Ch. 34:03, https://perma.cc/5Q4P-7DXC.

[4] Id. §§ 5(e) & 8.

[5] Food Safety Bill (Bill No. 22 of 2016), https://perma.cc/U8FT-GG7Y.

[6] Nikosi Bruce, Safer Food, Healthier People – Food Safety Bill Get Parliamentary Nod, Guyana Department of Public Information, Prime Minister’s Office (May 15, 2019), https://perma.cc/EK8M-3MCN.

[7] Food Safety Bill ch. VI.

[8] Id. ch. IX & X.

[9] Id. § 91(2)(t).

[10] Food Safety Act to Be Operationalised Next Month – Agri. Minister, Guyana Standard (Jan. 4, 2020), https://perma.cc/GL28-JJAU.

Last Updated: 12/31/2020