Wednesday, July 8, 2020
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Misuse of antibiotics hampering export of livestock

The misuse of antibiotics in livestock is hampering the ability of pastoralists in Garissa County to export their animals to foreign markets.
Speaking during a stakeholder’s sensitization workshop at a Garissa hotel Friday, County Executive for Agriculture Issa Yarrow said that importers from the Middle East were shying away from purchasing beef and live animals from Kenya, after samples from livestock in the area revealed high levels of veterinary drug residues.
“Scientific evidence has clearly demonstrated that overuse of antibiotics in animals can contribute to the emergence of antibiotic resistance in humans,” Yarrow said.
“We need as stakeholders to know what drugs we are giving to our animals and what our herders are doing on the ground has far reaching consequences even to our health,” he added.
The county executive said that the residues were ‘way more than regulatory internationally acceptable limits’.
“Driven by a growing demand for food, producing animals such as cattle and goats are given antibiotics to promote growth and prevent disease,” he said.
Yarrow said the county government had started the sensitization of its livestock sector players that will cover all the seven sub-counties of Hulugo, Ijara, Fafi, Balambala, Lagdera, Garissa Township and Dadaab in a bid to stem the trend.
The program which is being conducted in partnership with Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP) seeks to sensitize veterinary pharmaceutical dealers and sub county veterinary officers on the role of private sector in animal health delivery.
It also seeks to come out with ways of prudent management of veterinary pharmaceuticals.
By Jacob Songok

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