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May 04, 2008

Kenya beef exports to EU likely to remain banned without improvement in vet services

The European Union is unlikely to lift a ban on beef imports from Kenya unless the government enhances veterinary services, a workshop was told.

Kenya Veterinary Association (KVA) said the Government should allocate more funds to veterinary services to reclaim its export share to Europe.

The association’s national chairman, Dr Christopher Wanga, said that the department of veterinary services needs more financing.

"The government needs to allocate more funds to the department and recruit more doctors and technicians," he said.

Kenya lost its beef export quota to Europe over its failure to control animal diseases. The 4,000 tonnes meat annual quota was taken over by Botswana.

Wanga said the Government should embark on an extensive vaccination programme. "Disease control measures need to cover over 80 per cent of livestock throughout the country," he said.

He noted that Rift Valley and North Eastern provinces are largely affected by disease outbreaks.

Wanga was speaking in Kakamega during a workshop which brought together stakeholders in the livestock industry.

Reclaiming the quota will prove to be very difficult as the government recently announced a viral disease was responsible for the deaths of thousands of sheep and goats.

The PPR (peste des petits ruminants) has been identified to be a major threat to livestock mainly in arid and semi arid regions.

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