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Violence Hit Kenya's Once Viabrant Dairy Sector

21 February 2008

KENYA - Closed roads, burnt down animal feeds shops and either abandoned farms or slain animals, some of which having their meaty parts chopped off bit by bit even as they graze unattended to. This is the story explaining Kenya’s once vibrant dairy sector that is now seriously threatened due to ongoing violence that have followed the heavily disputed presidential polls held on December 27.

The sector is also grappling with shortage of veterinary officers, occasioned by displacement of staff as those veterinary officers from the Kikuyu community, the incumbent President Mwai Kibaki’s tribe and Kenya’s largest ethnic group, no longer feel safe working in areas hit by violence, particularly the expansive Rift Valley, Western and Nyanza provinces, which now threatens to throw the dairy sector into chaos.

According to Dr Chistopher Wanga, Chairman of the Kenya Veterinary Association, communities in the Rift Valley have neglected their livestock as they ran for their lives.

Also affected are measures to counter diseases. Already, the veterinary experts have issued an alert that warns of severe disease outbreak in the livestock sector as post-election upheavals enter the fourth week.

The Kenya Veterinary Association says that owing to the free movement of animals and people, several diseases were likely to hit the Sh150 billion industry, particularly in the Rift Valley Province, a region designated as a disease free zone for dairy animals.

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Source: Africa Science News Service


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