Increasing number of fake veterinary doctors visit farms in Uganda
Staff Writer |
Experts in the animal field have advised farmers to be vigilant on the kind of people they invite into their farms to treat the animals/birds noting that masqueraders have infiltrated the field and if farmers are not careful, will make a lot of losses resulting from death of their animals.
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Dr. Sam G. Okech, the former president of Uganda Veterinary Association, said there is an increasing number of fake veterinary doctors who visit farms to provide services such as treatment, but are not doing it the right way, despite charging exorbitant prices from the unknowing farmers, thus messing up the animals.
“If our farmers are not careful, they may incur a lot of losses resulting from death of all their animals and this in turn can lead to loss of livelihood and capital invested into the business,” he added.
He advised farmers to endeavour and work with true professionals, adding that farmers ought to have contacts of district veterinary officers, and if there are any doubts, then a farmer can call and find out.
Okech was speaking during the closure of a two-day training on animal welfare held at Hotel Africana in Kampala recently.
It was organised by World Animal Protection (WAP) in partnership with Water and environment media network Uganda (Wemnet-U).
During the meeting, a Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) report, was launched.
The sixth BBFAW report describes how global food companies are managing and reporting on farm animal welfare, assesses the progress that has been made, analyses the factors that are driving improvements in corporate practice and performance and reflects on the obstacles to further progress on animal welfare.
Dr. Victor Yamo, humane and sustainable agriculture campaigns manager, WAP, said consumers are increasingly considering the welfare of animals when deciding what to eat.
Animal welfare looks at things such as animal care, animal husbandry, and humane treatment and providing for animals’ physical and mental needs.
“Farm animal welfare is riding high on the consumer agenda hence poor animal welfare along the supply chain of leading global food companies cannot be ignored. We expect higher standards of living for farm animals that ensures the animals have a good life, free from pain, fear, boredom, and frustration from these companies,” said Yamo.
The director for Africa, World Animal Protection, Tennyson Williams, advised Uganda animal farmers to put measures in place to improve their production capacity to be able to supply animal products such as eggs, beef, chicken to multinational companies such as KFC.
“When such companies are established here, Ugandans need to benefit from their existence by supplying them with things such as chicken, beef and eggs. Otherwise, it is not fair that they import them from countries such as Brazil just because Uganda cannot satisfy their needs,” Williams said.
Dr. Mayanja Abubaker, a veterinary, said though market opportunities for animal products exist in the country, some farmers are missing out due to lack of knowledge of existing opportunities, while many lack capacity to supply.
Abubaker said there is need to always inform farmers of the existing market opportunities, and also encourage them to rear animals on large scale to tap into the available markets. ■