Poultry farmers in Nakuru County could soon require written permission from the government in order to rear more than 30 heads of chicken.
This is according to the Urban Agriculture Promotion and Regulation Bill, which, if passed, will see those keeping poultry without a licence fined half a million shillings or facing a jail term of not more than 24 months or both.
“Any person who intends to keep more than 30 heads of poultry shall make a written application to the county government and may only keep more than 30 heads of poultry upon receiving written authority from the county government,” reads part of the Bill.
The proposed law, which was tabled on Wednesday, further states that before a farmer is given the green light to keep poultry in an urban area, the county government will take into consideration the size of the land as well as the noise nuisance and public health risks.
Keeping farm animals and pets in urban areas will come with stricter conditions as owners will be required to vaccinate them and confine them to their designated dwelling or else be impounded if found roaming publicly.
The burning of any agricultural residue without approval from the devolved unit will also attract a fine of Sh500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 24 months or both.
Further, the use of raw sewerage for irrigation will be prohibited and any farmers using such water on their crops will be liable to a fine of 100,000 or to a jail term not exceeding 12 months or both.
However, the use of partially treated water for irrigation will be allowed but only if it complies with requirements of the devolved unit's Environmental Management and Co-ordination (Waste Management) regulations.
The chairperson of the Agriculture committee, Mr Joseph Waithaka, who is also the Kabazi ward rep, said the Bill was guided by principals of constitutionality and is still subject to public participation.
“Our committee recommends that the Bill should proceed to the stakeholders’ forum for further scrutiny,” said Mr Waithaka.