Red alert on high drug residue in meat, milk

Association blames problem on the surge in the number of quacks in the livestock sector.

In Summary

• Cases of high drug residue in meat and dairy products had been reported in different parts of the continent, including Kenya.

• The problem results in prolonged illness, disability, and death.

Meat on sell.
Meat on sell.
Image: FILE

An association has raised the alarm over the rising misuse of livestock drugs, leading to health complications among consumers.

The Africa Veterinary and Technicians Association says the problem has been compounded by an influx of quacks in the livestock sector, resulting in a surge in drug residue in the products. 

“Some of the quacks are not advising farmers on the use of animal products after injecting the livestock with drugs, some of which are very lethal,” said Benson Ameda, the president of the association.

Ameda noted that cases of high drug residue in meat and dairy products had been reported in different parts of the continent, including Kenya.

“There is an urgent need to formulate policies and regulations to address the misuse of drugs in the livestock sector,” he said.

Ameda warned that cases of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the region could double in the coming years because of the misuse of antibiotics and the high drug residue.

“In the case of antimicrobial resistance, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others,” he said

He noted that the AMR is a threat to the treatment of common infectious diseases, hence such a situation results in prolonged illness, disability and death.

Meanwhile, Ameda praised last week's decision by the High Court to suspend the appointment of the Veterinary Medicine Directorate by Agriculture CS Peter Munya. It was opposed by the Kenya Veterinary Board.

Ameda said the board is critical in addressing the issues of antimicrobial resistance and other challenges facing the sector.

"We support the decision taken by our colleagues to go to court to stop this appointment by the CS, as the law was not followed,” he said.

In his ruling, Judge P. Nyamweya suspended the appointment of the new council members of the directorate until a pending suit filed by members of the Kenya Veterinary Board is heard and determined.

In the suit, the members said the appointment was illegal and made in blatant disregard for the law. Those appointed were Josiah Machiki Mandieka, John Wilberforce Muchibi, James Muchini Mbaria and Douglas Gitonga.

They noted that the CS ignored a list previously handed to him by the veterinary members.

“The applicants are granted leave to apply for an order of mandamus compelling the CS for Agriculture to gazette and appoint persons as was recommended by the Kenya Veterinary Board,” Nyamweya ruled.


Edited by F'Orieny