Government lifts ban on poultry from Uganda

Kenya has partially lifted the ban on imports of poultry and poultry products from Uganda imposed in January this year, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Cabinet Secretary (CS), Willy Bett on Tuesday said.

He said only three companies in Uganda will be allowed to export their poultry and poultry to markets in Kenya.

The lifting of the ban, Bett said follows a successful implementation of measures agreed between the two countries since the ban was enforced eight months ago after the outbreak of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).

The three poultry firms from Uganda have been permitted to export and our technical teams deployed earlier have been fully convinced that the three facilities have complied with the outlined conditions, said Bett.

The three companies namely Hudani Manji Holdings-Rainbow, SR Afrochick and Kukuchic have demonstrated compliance of the measures agreed by the two countries and Kenyan team of experts drawn from ministry of agriculture, livestock and fisheries, African Union, Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) and University of Nairobi.

The Kenya government decided on partial lifting of the ban allowing the importation of chicken meat, eggs and day old chicks from three facilities which have been inspected, meet the standards, and were able to demonstrate high levels of biosecurity, the CS added.

The measures include intensified surveillance by the Uganda veterinary authority in the outbreak areas, licensed poultry enterprises by the Competent Veterinary Authority and must acquire movement permits for day old chicks.

Further Government officials should undertake ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection during, slaughter and any establishment interested in exporting day old chicks must obtain certification that the parent flock is free of the avian influenza.

Immediately after Kenya government enforced the ban, a technical team was dispatched to Uganda to undertake a risk assessment. The team undertook a qualitative risk assessment on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) incursion into Kenya from Uganda and gave recommendations, he added.

For any poultry products to enter Kenya the minister said the trader must present a certificate of origin to Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) as part of inspection at the border.

Local poultry traders have been urging the government to lift the ban to allow high supply of products in the market.

Following the ban of imports from Uganda prices of eggs per tray increased from Sh.270 to between Sh.300 and Sh.450. Though locally produced eggs (kienyeji) are still retailing at more than Sh.15 per egg.

Kenya has a population of 32 million birds but it is not enough to feed the consumers. Kenya imports poultry products from Uganda worth over Sh.50 million both through formal and informal channels. A similar amount is also imported from South Africa, Israel and other sources.

Source: Kenya News Agency