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Porous borders exacerbates livestock disease

Porous border areas across the Eastern and Central African countries have been cited as the major cause of an increase in livestock diseases across the region.

This comes at a time when Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak has been reported in various counties in the country with Nakuru, Nyandarua and Laikipia being the most affected.

Veterinarians and livestock officers from the region led by Africa Veterinary and Technicians Association President Benson Ameda said it was time that all veterinary services in the country were reverted to the National Government for effective service delivery and management.

Ameda said most services in the livestock industry could not be done by the counties owing to the huge resources needed.

He said most services required the co-operation of neighboring countries to help in disease surveillance and control, adding that a central coordination of the department at the national government is needed.

Ameda was speaking to the press after the official opening of the Kenya Veterinary Association, women chapter meeting, held at the Lake Naivasha Resort.

He said the veterinary industry was faced with a myriad of challenges, key among them, staffing and gave an example of government employees who were set to retire while counties who had the mandate to hire additional staff were not given the necessary funds.

“Most employees in this department are set to retire in the next four years and it will be practically impossible to carry out disease surveillance, especially those diseases that can be monitored and noticed,” he said.

Senior Deputy Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Mike Cheruiyot said there was need for neighbouring countries to work together in curbing spread of livestock diseases.

Cheruiyot at the same time welcomed the move by county governments to form blocks so as to fight animal diseases, adding that the move would help curtail spread of the most common diseases.

“This is a commendable move where counties will jointly help in disease control, meaning farmers can enjoy services without spreading diseases from one area to another,” he said.

Kenya Veterinary Association, women chapter Chairperson Dr. Marylin Karani said they were training farmers on prevention of diseases through managing and protection of animals as a source of income.

She added that the Association was in the process of forming an organization, bringing together all the IGAD member countries to work together to protect animals through Prep-Veterinary approach.

By Esther Mwangi and Brian Kamau



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