One Country’s Meat is Another County’s Poison

Busia County Bans Meat Imports from Uganda

Busia County Government has banned meat imports from Uganda due to hygiene risks and the near-death of the Busia Municipal slaughterhouse.

Cattle Herding in Kenya. File/Courtesy

According to the Ministries of Agriculture and Public Health, the decline of the slaughterhouse is due to the spread of animal diseases and revenue loss. The loss of revenue comes about through importing cheaper cow, goat, and sheep meat from Uganda.

The Agriculture Chief Officer, Timothy Odende, stated earlier that the slaughterhouse was operating under low capacity for some time. He mentioned that the county had invested Ksh 2.8 million for the facility’s renovation. The facility was non-operational for a year because of a lack of raw materials. Consequently, Uganda’s illegally imported meat flooded the market.

Capacity of Busia’s Slaughterhouse

The slaughterhouse was able to process over 300 cattle in a day previously. It can only, however, process under 10 cattle daily. As a result, over 90 per cent of meat processing has shifted from the facility to Uganda.

“It’s sad that most of our slaughterhouses have closed while some have remained deserted with a handful struggling to operate,” he said.

Allan Ogendo, the Director of Veterinary Services, warned against violating the meat import ban imposed at the porous border points.

“Those who will be found will have to take responsibility because we are doing this to protect the health of our people,” he said.

The meat inspector in charge of the slaughterhouse, Calvin Ninga, stated that the county government’s investment will address the health challenges within the facility.

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The county’s investment in the facility is aimed at increasing the amount of revenue collected and protecting the meat facility within the county. This includes the people employed in the institution and the safety of the consumers within the county.

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