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Governments urged to prioritise animals in policies

By Smart Farmer
Jimson Kambale, a young dairy farmer feeding his cows in Taita Sub County, Taita-Taveta County

The World Animal Protection organisation is running a global campaign christened, “Animals in Disaster”, which asks African governments to include animals in formulation of their policies.

According to Dr Judy Kimaru, the disaster manager for Africa at the organisation, “the national government should allocate at least five per cent of the National Disaster Management Policy Fund to cater for animals”.

This, she argues, is because animals are also affected in times of disaster. As a common practice, disaster management funds are allocated for human beings with livestock being sneaked into the budget under miscellaneous allocations.

“Through proper budgeting and legislation on animal protection, animals can be taken care of effectively and appropriately,” Dr Kimaru says.

The organisation is working with the Kenya Government to review the Prevention of Cruelty towards Animals Act, developed in 1958.

In Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia, the firm is developing standards to guide farming systems to ensure proper shelter, breeding, nutrition and poultry feeding.

The project titled, “Change for Chickens”, focused on the distress the birds undergo in the entire production chain, owing to the current growing demand in the meat industry.

Sixty-billion chickens are raised for consumption globally each year. Two thirds of them live in overcrowded sheds or cages, often with no natural light or fresh air, unable to peck or spread their wings. Due to their overgrown size and the speed at which they are raised, many suffer painful lameness, overworked hearts and lungs and wounds, including skin sores, and burns.

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