By YOANA KIMWELE.
Kitui county could almost be the first county in Kenya to attempt to address issues of animal welfare in matters about transportation from local to slaughterhouses.
Animals have been crisscrossing the entire county from market to market, in a process between 30 and 50% of body weight loss through trecking to exhaust leading to the
Loss to the traders and farmers.
According to the meat Control Act cap 356, animals intended for slaughter are supposed to rest for at least 24 hours and be watered before slaughter.
This action is practical where there are challenges of lack of proper transport means from markets and farmers to slaughter houses.
The movement of animals along the roadside is discouraged by Animal disease control Act Cap 364 because
is one major Way of spreading animal diseases from one area to another.
If a sick animal is trecked for example from mutha livestock market to Kitui slaughterhouse and maybe the animal
had asymptomatic Foot and mouth the disease Will be left along with the areas the sick animal passes causing a lot of damage to livestock farmers along the way.
If the animal was picked at
the initial market by a lory and taken straight to the slaughterhouse, the spread of the disease Will also be contained.
The trecking of animals also infringes on welfare issues of the stock and sometimes the trackers subjects the animals to cruelty thereby breaking the cap 360 (cruelty to animals)
By providing trucks for the transportation of livestock the county has addressed four major themes
Animal welfare, Disease control Cruelty to animals and Economic impact.
RESTING OF ANIMALS BEFORE SLAUGHTER HAS THE FOLLOWING ADVANTAGES.
- Meat is soft and tender and has less lactic acid which accumulates when animals are tracked for long distances leading to fatigue of animals.
Prolong meat shelf life, like accumulating of lactic acid during the trecking rot very easy.