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Livestock farmers warned against misuse of antibiotics

Livestock  farmers from Kiambu County have been warned against misuse of antibiotics while administering drugs to their herds to cushion them from being resistant to medication.

Speaking to KNA in Juja on Tuesday, Charles Owino, a retired veterinarian  who has been working closely with the livestock  department in Thika sub-county, said farmers should report cases of disease in their herds whenever they detected any symptoms.

Farmers  have a right to report such incidence of drug resistance leading to fatalities in their livestock to the responsible authority.

According  to Owino, the department has a drug known as anthelmintic used to cure internal parasites which is used by a majority of livestock farmers

He says the drug was significant in killing the internal worms without causing damage to the host animal. Owino also urged farmers to avoid misuse of such antibiotics saying it could cause the condition to recur.

“To  counteract the behaviour, the livestock department takes the initiative to change the kind of drugs administered to livestock to prevent normalcy and instead introduce new medication,” he said.

Farmers  were therefore urged to ensure that a Veterinary Officer attended to their livestock after every three months so as to guarantee good health that would not compel them to dig deeper into their pockets while treating some condition that they could have avoided.

Joseph Kuria, a livestock farmer told KNA that the common disease that had slowed down the performance of his livestock  were worm related in nature and they included roundworms, liver fluke and tapeworms.

According to Kuria, the scuffle for veterinary officers to tend to their livestock has been a major challenge and has seen him lose five of his precious cows meant for sale in the last three months.

He  thereby prayed to both the county government to cooperate in ensuring that enough experts from the department of livestock were deployed and their services could be easily accessed.

Sustainability of livestock farming could be rewarding to farmers who relied on their flock to take care of their family obligations as many sold milk to dairies for value addition.

By Alba Nakuwa/Lydia Shiloya

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