Economy

State sets Sh500,000 fine, jail term for untrained vets in Bill

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The Animal Production Professionals and Technicians Bill will be used to regulate the training, registration, and licensing of veterinarians, researchers, and nutritionists, among other technicians. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

Individuals engaged in services such as livestock nutrition, advisory, and research without a permit face a fine of up to Sh500,000 or six months imprisonment, a Bill shows.

The Animal Production Professionals and Technicians Bill will be used to regulate the training, registration, and licensing of veterinarians, researchers, and nutritionists, among other technicians.

“Any person who carries out animal production services without having been registered under this Act or otherwise contravenes any provisions of this part commits an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding Sh500,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both,” the Act reads in part.

The Bill adds that no person offering animal services without a licence can charge for the services.

Anyone who fails to comply and charges for animal production services such as husbandry, among others, is liable to a fine of up to Sh50,000 and or Sh150,000.

Nicholas Muyale, National Chairman of Kenya Veterinary Association, said the Bill does not target farmers or Kenyans rearing animals but professionals who do not have the licence to offer animal production services.

“The Animal Production Professionals and Technicians Bill does not talk about farmers and Kenyans owning animals, the Bill seeks to regulate the profession because there are people who are not licensed but offer farmers these services,” he said.

Board application

He adds that the proposed law is a welcome move from the government to the extent of offering practitioners training to advance their skills.

“The Bill’s implication lies with Kenyans who offer such services without a licence; they will have to find someone trained and licensed to keep operating,” reckoned Mr Muyale.

Kenyan professionals already conducting animal services, such as veterinarians, will be required to apply to the board, which will approve if satisfied.

Registered animal production professionals, technicians, and specialists or firms will pay a retention fee as a condition for the registration.

A license issued shall be valid from January 1 to December 31 of the year and in this time, the license may also be suspended by the board for various reasons, including false information in the application.

If the licence is cancelled, the person will be required to surrender their certificate of registration to the board's Registrar or be fined Ksh50,000

The board may suspend a license issued if the licensee is under investigation for an alleged offence, misconduct of the act, or contravention of any provisions of the act.

Aggrieved parties from service providers for a breach of standards may make written complaints to the board which will inquire into the allegations.

The board will conduct a hearing and determine whether the act’s provisions were adhered to.

Other functions of the board include advising the government on animal production practices, general supervision and control over the training, licensing, and registration of animal production professionals, technicians, and specialists and the provision of regulation of the standards and practice of the animal production profession in Kenya.

The board shall offer programs on professional development activities relating to animal production from recognised institutions across the country and offer them credit points upon successful completion of continuous professional development activities, as a condition of maintaining a licence.

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