Turkana County has finalized plans to introduce branding of livestock to discourage theft of animals among pastoralist communities in the area.
Livestock stakeholders drawn from the National, County Governments and Non-Governmental Organizations on Thursday met in Lodwar to prepare a roadmap on planned branding of livestock at Lokipoto and Nakitong’o areas of Turkana West Sub-County.
Chief Officer for Fisheries, Livestock and Veterinary Services Abdulahi Yusuf who presided over the opening session of the one-day event expressed optimism that the branding would reduce conflict on ownership of livestock because animals will now have unique visible marks for identification across the sub counties.
The exercise is backed by The Branding Stock Act of 2012 and Veterinary Services Guideline 2014.
The two pieces of legislation outline the County Government’s role on Livestock Identification and Traceability systems (LITs) that include conducting livestock identification using approved identification systems such as Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFIDs), branding and microchips.
‘The county government has additional roles which include data upload on livestock registration, veterinary interventions, test results and movement of records to the central database,’ added Yusuf.
On its part, the National Government is mandated to undertake registration and regulation of all livestock identification systems such as brands, RFIDs and radio tracking devices.
County Director for Veterinary Services Dr.Benson Longor said sub-counties near international borders will be given the first priority in the exercise which has been accepted by the National Government’s Directorate of Veterinary Services.
Lotus Kenya Action for Development organization (LOKADO) Chief Executive Officer Augustine Kai assured of his organization’s commitment to support implementation of the program just as it has done on peace initiatives along the Kenya-Uganda border.
The meeting was attended by County Government staff from the departments of Pastoral Economy and Peace Building.