DRAFT LAW

Government mulls 'Huduma number' for livestock to enhance traceability

In July, a local TV station aired an expose that revealed how supermarkets are using toxic chemicals to prolong life shelf of meat in their stores.

In Summary
  • According to the government sponsored law, the Livestock register will have the ID number of the animal, name of the owner and location
  • Any farmer with an animal more than a month without an identification device shall be guilty of an offense and will be handed undisclosed penalty
A file photo of cattle during grazing.
A file photo of cattle during grazing.

No livestock will be allowed into a slaughter house without an identification device that can help consumers trace the product, if the proposed law on livestock traceability is passed.

The Livestock Identification and Traceability System Regulation, 2019 is expected to curb unsafe animal products from getting into the country's consumer chain.

The proposed law is coming just months after Nairobi City County was forced to shutdown several arbitrators in the city for operating without valid licenses.

 

According to the draft law, any meat for sale to the public shall only be sourced from a slaughterhouse to which it shall be traceable by means of a certificate of transport or any other means prescribed by the Director General.

The certificate of transport of meat shall be as prescribed in the veterinary Public Health Act and shall bear the identification number of the animal that gave rise to the meat.

In July, a local TV station aired an expose that revealed how supermarkets are using toxic chemicals to prolong life shelf of meat in their stores.

The regulation which forms part of the Animal Health Act, 2019 will see farmers incur the cost of tags for every livestock kept. Every animal will be allocated a unique identification number of not more than 15 digits , which will be kept in the national electronic database.

The animal number will start with a prefix 141, a county code and nine digit number. A cow in Mombasa County will for instance have a number 141-001-999999999.

The director general Veterinary Services will appoint a National Livestock Identification and Traceability System registrar who will be custodian of the database.

According to the government sponsored law, the Livestock register will have the ID number of the animal, name of the owner and location.

 

Other details needed for every livestock kept in the country includes: date of birth, sex, breed or colour of coat, address of the place the animal was born, animal's health record, date of birth or slaughter and movement records.

The unique number will be given to the animal not more than a month after birth.

Any farmer with an animal more than a month without an identification device shall be guilty of an offense and will be handed undisclosed penalty.

If passed, the law will also help tackle the perennial cattle rustling that has in past seen scores of people lose lives especially in far flung counties of Turkana, Pokot, Mandera, Elgeyo Marakwet among others.