The proposal by Roots Party Presidential candidate George Wajackoya to export animal parts is a recipe for another pandemic, the Union of Veterinary Practitioners of Kenya(UVPK) has warned.
Last week Thursday, Wajackoyah during the unveiling of his manifesto called for the export of snakes and their venom, dog meat and hyena testicles (Makende ya Fisi).
“1,000 male hyenas have 2,000 testicles. I hear the testicles are medicine to the Chinese. The testicles can fetch more money than even Ganja. One testicle is almost Sh6 million. So, we shall export hyena testicles, dog meat, and hyenas,” he said.
Wajackyah added: “We will export dog meat! A kilogram of dog meat costs six times more than the price of a kilogram of goat meat. Kenya exports beef, goat, and lamb to the Middle East. For instance, each Kg of goat costs an average of Sh400…but if we export dog meat we will earn Sh2, 400 per kilogram.”
But Kenyan vets through secretary Dr Miheso Mulembani condemned Wajackoyah saying his plan would be an abuse of animal rights.
‘‘The Union of Veterinary Practitioners of Kenya is perturbed at the level of political talk that is likely to cause harm to animals. Prof. Wajackoya’s assertion that it is possible for Kenyans to trade in wildlife products is quite worrying and impractical,’’ said Mulembani.
He noted that Kenya is a signatory to world conventions mandated to protect the survival of animal species.
‘‘Kenya is a treaty member of the Washington Convention also known as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife (CITES).
“CITES protects the survival of the species in the wild and regulates international trade in specimens of species of wildlife based on a system of permits and certificates issued under certain conditions,’’ he explained.
Noting that Covid-19 originated in Wuhan, China, as a result of trade in wildlife products, the UVPK official warned that Kenya should be prepared for a surge in zoonotic diseases such as Rabies, Brucellosis, Leptospirosis, Yersiniosis, Campylobacteriosis, Salmonellosis, Cryptosporidiosis and Giardiasis among others.
‘‘Trade in hyena testicles and snakes is disallowed and a threat to the existence of the wild species. Prof. Wajackoyah’s proposal to trade in snakes and Hyena testicles is a recipe for another pandemic owing to spillover of viruses, bacteria, and parasites from Hyenas and Snakes in the wild to human beings,’’ he said.
Dr Miheso Mulembani urged Wajackoya to consult with relevant professionals before making such statements.