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Gov’t declares nationwide enforcement of rules in livestock sector

The Government has declared a Nationwide enforcement of rules and regulations in the livestock sector.

The exercise, which is being coordinated by the Ministry of Interior and National Administration will involve the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Ministry of Health and County Governments.

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Speaking at the Kenya School of Government during a high-level multi-agency security workshop ahead of the exercise that begins immediately, Internal Security Principal Secretary Dr. Raymond Omollo said there has been an increase in livestock theft, unregulated trade in animal products, and contamination of food products that have affected eateries and resulted in fatalities in the country.

“We are also witnessing a worrying pattern of livestock thefts particularly in Rift Valley, Eastern and Central regions and meat seized while being transported to Nairobi and other regions. This theft is linked with the emergence of bandits and cattle rustlers selling meat to unscrupulous traders and transnational criminal gangs who are smuggling and trafficking animal products such as skins across borders linked with other illicit wildlife trade,” he said.

In response to these threats, a 100-day Rapid Response Initiative (RRI) has been launched aimed at enforcing existing rules and regulations in the livestock sector.

All County Commissioners are directed to form multi-agency teams composed of the Police, DCI, NIS, NGAOs, County Public Health Services, and Veterinary Services, and co-opt other relevant regulatory agencies with specific terms of reference to enforce the same.

Multi-agency teams are also tasked to identify hotspots for the illegal slaughter of all livestock and arrest culprits while dismantling all the criminal syndicates involved.

“Suspicion of consumption of donkey meat has raised concerns about the origin of these animals despite the government having banned donkey slaughter in 2020 and rendered designated abattoirs non-operational,” PS Omollo said.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, animal products pose food safety hazards if not properly handled and we must adhere to food safety standards and health practices from production to consumption.

The Principal Secretary for Livestock Development Jonathan Mueke said, “We have seen a gap in enforcement of the livestock sector rules and regulations and have come up with this initiative that will target animal product facilities as well as our transport highways.”

PS Mueke called on the multi-agency to effectively play their role to develop a robust whole-of-government coordination approach for effective enforcement and appreciated the essential leadership provided by Regional Commissioners and County Commissioners.

The meeting was also attended by the Director of Criminal Investigations Mohamed Amin, Director of Public Health, Dr. Maureen Kamene, Regional Commissioners, County Commissioners, Police Commanders, and stakeholders in the livestock industry.

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