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Veterinary association raises alert over misuse of livestock drugs

By Kirera Mwiti
Friday, May 22nd, 2020
The association President Benson Ameda

The Africa Veterinary and Technicians Association has raised an alert over the high misuse of livestock drugs leading to health complications among consumers.

The association President Benson Ameda noted that the problem had been compounded by an influx of quacks into the livestock sector leading to an increase in drug residue in the products.

“Some of the quacks are not advising farmers on use of animal products after injecting the livestock with drugs some of which are very lethal,” he said.

Ameda noted that cases of high drug residue in meat and dairy products had been reported in various parts of the continent including Kenya.

“There is urgent need to formulate policies and regulations to address the misuse of drugs in the livestock sector,” he said.

He warned that cases of Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the region could double in the coming years due to a misuse of antibiotics and the high drug residue.

“In the case of Antimicrobial resistance the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others,” he said

He noted that AMR was a threat in the ability to treat common infectious diseases adding that this would result in prolonged illness, disability and death.

Ameda at the same time praised last week decision by the High Court to suspend the appointment of the Veterinary Medicine Directorate by the CS for Agriculture Peter Munya.

He termed the board as very critical in addressing the issues of Antimicrobial resistance and other challenges facing the sector.

“We support the decision taken by our colleagues to go to court seeking to stop this appointment by the CS as the law was not followed,” he said.

In the ruling, Judge P. Nyamweya suspended the appointment of the new council members of the directorate until a pending suit filed by members of the Kenya Veterinary Board is heard and determined.

In the suit, the members had termed the appointment of Josiah Machiki Mandieka, John Wilberforce Muchibi, James Muchini Mbaria and Douglas Gitonga by the CS as illegal and in disregard of the law.

They noted that the CS while making the appointment ignored a list previously handed to him by the veterinary members.

“The applicants are granted leave to apply for an order of mandamus compelling the CS for Agriculture to gazette and appoint persons as was recommended by the Kenya Veterinary Board,” said the judge in the ruling.