17 Nov 2011
The House of Representatives will soon begin debate on The Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons (No 2) Bill, 2011.
The following is a brief explanation of some aspects of the Bill
Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin weapons deliver toxins and microorganisms, such as viruses, fungi and bacteria, so as to deliberately inflict disease among people, animals, and agriculture. Biological attacks can result in the destruction of crops, temporary discomfort or illness, and in extreme cases, death.
The method of use of a biological weapon depends on several factors. These include the agent itself, its preparation, its durability in the environment, and route of infection. Some agents can be disbursed as an aerosol, which can be inhaled or can infect a susceptible spot on the skin, such as a cut or wound. Attackers can also contaminate food or water with some agents. It is also possible to use live, infected carriers of disease (insects, rodents, ticks, etc.) or suspensions and powders (anthrax).
Ebola, natural smallpox, anthrax, tularemia, glanders, melioidosis, brucellosis, cholera, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, several types of American equine encephalomyelitis, yellow fever, Q fever, deep mycoses, and botulinus toxin. Among those intended to affect animals are the causative agents of foot-and-mouth disease, cattle plague, anthrax, African hog fever, and brucellosis
Toxins consist of Nerve Agents, Mustard Agents, Hydrogen Cyanide, Tear Gases, Arsines, Psychotomimetic Agents, Toxins and Potential CW Agents.
Among those intended to affect vegetation are the causative agents of wheat stem rust, phytophthora of potatoes, and rice blast are all biological and toxin in nature.
In this Act biological agents are described as any microbial, infectious substance or virus that can cause
The 1972 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their destruction restricts countries from developing, producing, stockpiling, or acquiring and retaining biological agents, weapons, and equipment outside of peaceful purposes. It also bans weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict. Additionally, recent advances in biotechnology have made it easier to develop dangerous viruses, bacteria, and toxins with fewer resources. This has increased concerns that individuals and groups could resort to bioterrorism to attack other countries. Trinidad and Tobago acceded to this convention on July 19, 2007.
What are the key features of this proposed legislation?
- Motor vehicle
- Any other conveyance
Please take the opportunity to access the Bill via the link provided and feel free to submit your comments and concerns to the Parliament via our website.