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Laikipia to tag all livestock in bid to stem rustling

Laikipia county government has embarked on an ambitious exercise to tag all livestock in the area with an aim of identifying and tracing them in case they get stolen.
The exercise being undertaken by Kenya Veterinary Association (KVA), the local livestock department and supported by World Vision has so far tagged 40, 000 animals and their details fed into a database that will assist in tracing the animal, knowing the owner and getting the medical history of the animal.
KVA chairman Dr. Samuel Kahariri speaking Thursday in Nanyuki town at a forum on the exercise attended by farmers said the Livestock Identification and Traceability System would see all animals tagged on their ears with a mark that would give history details and traceability of the animal when fed onto a computer.
Dr. Kahariri added that the system would also assist local farmers get access to animal products markets locally and abroad since the system will be used to give history and traceability of the animal when its product is in the market.
“This exercise will greatly improve meat quality emanating from Laikipia since all animals for slaughter will be verified from the system to authenticate if they are fit for human consumption before slaughter,” Dr. Kahariri said.
He added that many consumers were exposed to animal products that were not fit for human consumption especially where an animal is slaughtered while it was under medication.
The KVA chair added that the system would greatly help the commercialization of the livestock sector in the county since the quality of meat and other products would be guaranteed safe.
Laikipia County Livestock Chief officer James Mungere, said that the new system would go a long way in tracing lost or stolen animals in the area and also help stem banditry brought about by cattle rustling.
World Vision programme manager Simon Mbuki said that livestock farmers who embrace the tagging system would easily access funding from financial institutions and enjoy insurance services since they could use the animals as collateral.
Mbuki added that the exercise would also be rolled out in Isiolo, Samburu and Marsabit counties once it’s completed in Laikipia.
By Martin Munyi

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