Kenya to create disease-free zones for livestock

Kenya’s agriculture and livestock ministry said on Friday it will establish disease-free zones for livestock to help the country control frequent disease outbreaks to enhance productivity.

Peter Munya, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, said the country has substantial animal resources that contribute substantially to its economy.

“Diseases cause significant losses to Kenya’s livestock industry, and are a drain to available resources,” Munya said during the launch of the national livestock vaccination program in Kajiado County, southern Kenya.

Munya said the diseases have in the past hindered participation in international trade of livestock and livestock products while reducing local trade in live animals, meat and other animal products.

Munya urged county governments to resort to regular vaccination of livestock to help improve quality of livestock and livestock products.

Harry Kimtai, principal secretary of livestock, said each county is expected to vaccinate some 70 percent of the livestock population against identified priority disease in the next three years.

Kimtai said that Kenya experiences over 80 percent of Foot and Mouth Disease outbreaks every year, which cause losses in terms of deaths to calves and poor body conditions of the animal.

About 60 percent of the livestock population is found in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands where 90 percent of the populations raise animals both for meat and milk production. Enditem

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