Kenya starts livestock vaccination campaign

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- Kenya's veterinary department has embarked on an ambitious programme to screen and treat all the country's livestock against contagious trans-border diseases like Bovine Pleuro-Pneumonia.
The country's Chief Field livestock Officer Dr.
Bengat Kigen said Tuesday that the objective was to improve the quality of livestock and livestock products.
Kigen said that a mobile laboratory had been established in Tana River district, the major entry point of most of the livestock to other Coastal region's districts bordering Tanzania.
The veterinary doctor regretted that the unrestricted movement of livestock across the common border was complicating the problem of disease control.
He asked the provincial administration to put in place mechanisms to curb the free movement.
Kigen, who held discussions with the Coast Provincial administrator, Samuel Limo in Mombasa, also charged that the influx of refugees with their livestock into Kenya "has continued to worsen an already bad situation as some of them were armed with dangerous weapons, which are now posing a security risk.
" Limo said the provincial administration would continue to support the department by monitoring the number of people who cross into the country with their livestock.
He therefore directed chiefs and their assistants to ensure prompt registration of all the herdsmen, their families and the number of their cattle in their possession to prevent congestion and overgrazing.
Meanwhile a vaccination campaign took off Monday to vaccinate 100,000 heads of cattle against Anthrax and Blackwater diseases in six districts of the country's Eastern Province.
Dogs and cats will also be vaccinated against rabies under the campaign whose goal is to prevent new disease outbreaks following the heavy rains in the area over the last few weeks.
Three major disease outbreaks have occurred since the El Nino induced heavy rains that pounded Meru, Embu and Mbeere districts, five years ago.
An estimated 300,000 heads of cattle died in the outbreaks.
The vaccination, which ends on 26 June, will be carried out by 55 veterinary surgeons and over 100 animal health technicians from the public and private sectors.
Speaking in Meru, 288-km from Nairobi, Eastern Provincial Commissioner Philomena Koech explained that the campaign aims to immunise 80 to 90-percent of the cattle in the target area.

21 may 2002 21:02:00

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