Govt Announces Nationwide Enforcement of Livestock Sector Regulations

April 17, 2024

The Government has announced a nationwide enforcement of rules and regulations in the livestock sector.

Coordinated by the Ministry of Interior and National Administration, the exercise will engage the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Ministry of Health, and County Governments.

Addressing participants at the Kenya School of Government during a high-level multi-agency security workshop preceding the immediate commencement of the exercise, Internal Security Principal Secretary Dr. Raymond Omollo highlighted a surge in livestock theft, unregulated trade in animal products, and food product contamination, impacting eateries and resulting in fatalities across 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.

100-day Rapid Response Initiative (RRI)

In response to these threats, the government has initiated a 100-day Rapid Response Initiative (RRI) focused on enforcing existing rules and regulations within the livestock sector. All County Commissioners have been instructed to establish multi-agency teams comprising the Police, DCI, NIS, NGAOs, County Public Health Services, Veterinary Services, and other relevant regulatory agencies, with specific mandates to enforce compliance.

These multi-agency teams are also assigned the responsibility of identifying hotspots for illegal livestock slaughter, apprehending perpetrators, and dismantling criminal syndicates involved in such activities.

“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 rendering designated abattoirs non-operational,” PS Omollo said.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development warns that improper handling of animal products poses significant food safety hazards. They emphasize the importance of adhering to food safety standards and health practices throughout the entire process, from production to consumption.

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