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Kenya to develop disease free zones to boost livestock

11 April 2016, 13:06

Nairobi (Xinhua) -- Kenya is fast tracking the development of disease free zones in order to boost livestock exports, an official said Sunday.

Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Principal Secretary Dr Andrew Tuimur told Xinhua in Nairobi that two disease free zones will be operational by the end of the year.

"They will enable the country to quarantine animals and test before being exported," Tuimur said. Currently Kenya exports livestock products to the Middle East, Mauritius and Seychelles.

The EU banned Kenyan beef products due to the high prevalence of livestock diseases such as Food and Mouth Disease and the Contagious Bovine Plueropnemonia.

"We hope to regain the EU market in 2017 after implementing measures to curb livestock diseases," Tuimur said.

The PS said that Kenya is also working closing with its neighboring countries such as Uganda, Tanzania in order to control the animal diseases.

"Most of the livestock diseases are trans boundary in nature, so we need regional collaboration due to the movement of livestock across the countries," he said.

"We are also working with international donors so as to reduce the incidences of the diseases," he added.

Tuimur said that most agricultural and livestock functions are now undertaken by the county governments following the promulgation of the new constitution in 2010.

"The central government is providing assistance to county governments on the right policies required to get rid of diseases so as expand export markets," he said.

The PS noted that the Livestock Bill and the Veterinary bill has already been finalized and will soon be tabled in parliament.

According to Tuimur, the proposed laws contain provisions that will curb livestock diseases.

- Xinhua

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