Ministry warns against arbitrary drug use in livestock

THE Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries has issued a stern warning to livestock keepers countrywide, to cease the arbitrary use of drugs on animals without veterinarians’ advice.

This caution aims to curb the growing issue of drug- resistant parasites, a signifi- cant threat both nationally and globally.

Assistant Director of the Ministry’s Department of Veterinary Health Services, Dr Stanford Ndibalema, issued the warning in Morogoro Region over the weekend, during the closing of a 30-day training session for Veterinary Medicine Specialists from Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar.

“Parasite resistance to drugs is currently a national disaster and a global issue,” Dr Ndibalema stated.

“There has been a dangerous trend of administering drugs to livestock without prior testing, resulting in increased drug resistance.”

The training was spon- sored by the Food and Ag- riculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in col- laboration with the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries as part of the In-Service Applied Veterinary Epidemiology Training Programme (ISA- VET).

Dr Ndibalema empha- sised the necessity for experts to utilise their training to educate communities on managing animal epidemics and effectively monitoring in- fectious diseases transmissible from animals to humans.

He stressed that the knowledge imparted during the training should be disseminated to livestock keepers to significantly address the misuse of drugs.

He highlighted that the Prime Minister’s Office campaign, which promotes the concept of One National Health, has identified arbitrary drug use in animal husbandry as a rising threat to animal health.

Dr Ndibalema expressed his gratitude to FAO for their collaboration with the Minis- try, particularly in conducting this crucial training.

“I would like to express my sincere thanks to FAO for collaborating with the Ministry of Live- stock and Fisheries, especially in the departments of livestock and fisheries services on the Mainland and Islands.”

Coordinator of ISAVET from FAO, Dr Moses Ole- Nesele, elaborated on the training’s objective to equip civil servants with skills for monitoring diseases caused by animals.

He noted that timely dis- ease reporting and informa- tion dissemination are critical for protecting both livestock and society.

“When we want to trade meat and milk, we must ensure our animals are healthy to attract buyers. Neglecting this will deter anyone from purchasing our products,” Dr Ole-Nesele cautioned.

The training aims to reduce the frequency of epidemic diseases and prevent new ones, thereby safeguard- ing public health and improving livestock quality.

A veterinary expert, Dr Wantere Bernard from Buse-ga District, Simiyu region, highlighted that the training enables practical diagnostic tests, ensuring animals receive appropriate treatment based on professionally identified diseases.

“This training will help us in knowing and treating live- stock diseases instead of the breeder just giving medicine without knowing what his livestock is suffering from,” Dr Bernard explained.

Another Vet, Khamisi Haji Mbwebwe from North District A, Ugunja, represent- ing the experts from Zanzibar, affirmed that the training has enhanced their capabilities in detecting and treating animal diseases.

He emphasised that the new methods learned will contribute to healthier livestock and boost the country’s meat market domestically and internationally.

The training session concluded with a renewed com- mitment to improving veterinary practices and ensuring the health and safety of Tanzania’s livestock industry.

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