The Africa Veterinary Technicians Association (AVTA) and the Kenya Veterinary Association (KVA) have warned of a looming management crisis at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) following the suspension of six senior officers last week.
The AVTA Chairman, Benson Ameda said the suspension of senior veterinary officers has left a gap in the management of the wildlife institution, saying the six were key to ensuring wildlife wellbeing.
Ameda further claimed that most of those suspended following the death of eleven rhinos at the Tsavo National park were veterinarians whose service was crucial in managing wildlife.
The chairman said the association fully supported the officers, saying they carried out their duty as required of them, adding that their suspension was illegal.
He further explained that the officers have been involved in translocation of animals from various parks before and have always been successful and wondered why this case was tragic.
In this exercise where rhinos were moved to Tsavo from Nairobi, there were other officials involved, not necessarily veterinary doctors, and their presence is what we want investigated, he appealed.
Addressing the press in Naivasha, Ameda said it was clear that there were some foreign nationalities that played a big role during the rhino translocation, despite the fact that they were not doctors yet their advice was keenly followed.
At the same time, he said such actions should have been handled by the Kenya Veterinary Board (KVB) that regulates the industry and not outright suspension by the Cabinet Secretary.
The KVA National Chairman, Dr. Samuel Kahariri said KWS currently has a total of 12 veterinarians which was exactly 50 percent of the requisite numbers, saying the suspension has left a big gap in the management of the animals.
He took issue with a David Zimmerman who is allegedly said to be a veterinarian despite not being registered to practice in Kenya, noting that his findings can only be treated as those of a layman.
The Chairman said Zimmerman who was part of a second team constituted to investigate cause of death of the rhinos, could not have been trusted to carry out such a delicate matter, thus findings of the taskforce could be doubted.
Source: Kenya News Agency