NAIROBI– The Kenyan government is to improve its Livestock Identification and Traceability System (LITS) by streamlining the legal framework and co-ordination to enhance the success of the system and unlock the sector’s economic potential, says the Principal Secretary (Assistant Minister) for Livestock in Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Harry Kimutai.

Speaking during World Veterinary Day celebrations Nyeri County in central Kenya Tuesday, he said this would complement the efforts that the government is putting in place to strengthen the market infrastructure for the livestock industry, adding that the government would continue to give full support to such initiatives.

The LITS programme is being undertaken by the government in collaboration with the Kenya Veterinary Association (KVA) and KCB Foundation to establish database and commencement of livestock owners and their premises identification and registration.

Kimutai said the government would partner county governments to ensure that all the animals in the country are registered.

The system will be launched nationally to help curb cattle rustling, and ensure the system is used for purposes of trade.

We have not been able to trade with the outside world, especially in animals and animal products because the world requires that we have standards, he said.

KVA chairman Samuel Kahariri, said World Veterinary Day is used to show the contribution of the veterinary profession into the growth of the economy and improving the livelihoods of people.

Kahariri said more than 75 per cent of Kenya’s land area consists of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) where most people depend on livestock rearing for their livelihoods.

We must therefore prioritize livestock farming because by so doing, we are going to revitalize the livestock sector and entirely commercialize the sector, said Kahariri.

He said the association was showcasing some initiatives like LITS, disease control systems like vaccinations and free treatment to demonstrate to policy makers, stakeholders and the rest of world that the livestock sector can be revitalized and be a key driver in food security.

Farmers enjoyed free vaccination of dog and cats against rabies, dogs castration services, treatment and vaccination of livestock against lumpy skin disease and foot and mouth diseases. Farmers were also sensitized on how to take good care of their animals.