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Kenya: Farmers Warned of Toxins in Dairy Feeds

20 November 2006

KENYA - Almost half of animal feeds for livestock in Nairobi are contaminated with toxins dangerous to human health.

The feeds contain aflatoxins and other disease-causing organisms such as Salmonella, according to a study by the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (Kari), Nairobi University and the Livestock ministry.

Mr John Kariuki, the lead researcher, said commercial and home-made rations were highly contaminated, during a scientific conference at Kari yesterday.

He asked the Government to ensure the quality and safety of materials entering the human food chain through livestock was up to standard, adding that it was unfortunate that the Government had no laws on feeds safety.

"Livestock feed contamination has significant impact on health of both livestock and human beings," he told the meeting, which will end today.

Dairy meal

The team studied 100 farmers in Nairobi and sampled a wide range of feed concentrates used on the farms, which included, cotton seed meal, maize germ, commercial dairy meal and home made rations.

Farmers in the areas covered are big users of commercial feeds, poultry and breweries by-products. At least 50 per cent of the maize germ, cotton seed meal, wheat bran and layer litter were contaminated with aflatoxins.

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