Veterinarians decry poor pay, urge government to release county funds on time

Veterinarians in Kenya have expressed concern over little pay, asking the National government to intervene.

The vets, through their umbrella body Kenya Veterinary Association, called on the government to offer incentives and good remunerations as a way of boosting the morale of veterinary officers in the country.

The association which brings together professional membership for all veterinarians in Kenya in both public and private sectors registered under the societies Act Cap 108 of the Laws of Kenya has 3, 000 veterinary surgeons spread across 47 counties.

According to the association, the cash crunch in the counties has threatened to cripple veterinary services as many practitioners have gone months without salaries.

Led by its chairman Nicholas Muyale, the practitioners now want the national government to release county disbursement on time.

‘I know of some counties that have not paid their staff for two months and this can easily affect veterinary services because veterinary services are essential services and if the national government does not release funds then there are chances of laxity and in the law run it will affect food safety since they are the ones who inspect meat and take care of the welfare of the animals,” he said.

In controlling rabies, the vets said that there was need for surgical techniques to be applied to ensure that cats and dogs ceased to multiply beyond the management level of their owners.

Demesi Mande, dean of students at the school of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Nairobi and a board member at the Kenya Veterinary Board (VB), said that there were several safe ways of removing the reproductive organs of cats and dogs in controlling their multiplication.

“There are two types of surgery, one is castration where the testicles of the male dogs are surgically removed to make them unable to breed. Female dogs are also sprayed using surgical techniques to ensure they can permanently are not going to give birth of puppies that the owners are unable to manage and all this is to show the importance of the veterinary profession in ensuring that animal health is assured, the productivity of animals is assured and disease control is also assured,” he said.

According to the Deputy Director at the Directorate of Veterinary Services, Dr Charles Ochodo, dogs are very prolific and were capable of producing between five and ten puppies at any given time hence creating a burden to their owners.

He added that in the past, owners of such dogs ended up using inhumane practices such as poison, crude weapons, and abandonment to get rid of them.

“In the past, people have used all sorts of methods including poison and some have used crude weapons to kill the puppies. At least by 2027 we should have eradicated rabies and we call on all dog owners to present their dogs for vaccination to the nearest veterinarian,” he said.

Ochodo added that Kenya has a strategy to eradicate rabies by 2027, and part of the practices is the spaying of female dogs and neutering of male dogs.

“Spaying is the surgical removal of reproductive organs, that is, the uterus, of female dogs, while neutering is the surgical removal of reproductive organs of male dogs through castration,” he said.

Purity Kiunga who is the treasurer of KVA said that the association was collaborating with the KVB, the Government of Kenya, Nor brook, CKL Africa Limited to contribute to the livelihoods of the people by taking care of the animal welfare.

“We are contributing to the livelihood of the people by taking care of their animal welfare and their backbone which is the livestock,” she said.

The acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of KVB Dr Mary Agutu acknowledged the uptake of veterinary courses by girls saying that it was the right thing to put gender balance in the profession.

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