Deadline looms for livestock identification

THE government through the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries has set October 31 this year as deadline for livestock identification using electronic ear tags.

The Livestock Services Director, Prof Hezron Nonga said legal measures would be taken against livestock keepers who will disobey the order come November 1, this year.

According to Livestock Identification, Registration and Traceability Act 2010 and its  2011 regulations,  livestock which will not be identified  will not be allowed to be  taken to any market within and outside the country and whoever will defy the order  will be penalised including paying a fine of 2m/-.

He said identification, registration and traceability of livestock were  crucial for the welfare and development of livestock sector in the country. It is also a legal requirement in which each livestock keepers are obliged to obey.”

Prof Nonga explained that, the government intends to identify a total of 45,920,000 livestock but until October 15, this year which is 11 months since the exercise commenced, only 4,153,856 animals have been identified which is equivalent to 10 per cent of the target.

He further unveiled that the implementation of the exercise has faced several challenges that may have contributed to having a small percentage of livestock with identification marks, including failure of some local government authorities to allocate funds to facilitate the exercise, some livestock keepers complaining about the indicative price of 1,750/- for cows and donkeys and 1,000/- for goats and sheep.

Another challenge is the lack of understanding and negative attitude by some livestock keepers about electronic ear identification as well as drought which occurred from July 2021 to January this year which has affected livestock.

“Mbeya region is leading by having a total of 1,014,569 livestock which have been identified in this ongoing exercise which is being implemented throughout the country, so I request Livestock Departments at the local government authorities as they are the main coordinators of the exercise to ensure all livestock are identified “, he emphasized

In addition, he asked the veterinary experts in their areas to continue to provide education and encourage the exercise of livestock identification for livestock keepers as it is a sustainable issue for the benefit of livestock keepers and the nation as a whole.

Prof Nonga said that the exercise of identification, registration, and monitoring of livestock is important because it will help the country deal with epidemic diseases, strengthen livestock hygiene, increase the value of livestock on the market, facilitate insurance and loans for livestock keepers, facilitate the recovery of stolen or lost livestock as well facilitate livestock census exercise.

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