New bill seeks to protect farm animals from violation

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The new bill which is being formulated by the Directorate of Veterinary Services is in its formative stages and seeks to ensure that farm animals are safe from as they are reared all the way to the market.

When travelling, you have most likely seen chicken in an upside position being transported on top of vehicles to various markets across the country – sometimes over long distances.

This is likely to change as Kenya works on a new law that focusses on the protection and care of domestic animals even as big food outlets commit to adhering to animal protection.

Dr Michael Cheruiyot the senior deputy director of veterinary services revealed this during the release of a report dubbed The Business Benchmark on Farm Welfare, the sixth such benchmark report describing how global food companies are managing and reporting on farm animal welfare, assesses the progress that has been made since the first benchmark report.

It also analyses the factors that are driving improvements in corporate practice and performance and reflects on the obstacles to further progress on farm animal welfare. Poor transportation, misuse of antibiotics are just some of the problems farm animals face.

The report was prepared by the World Animal Protection, a global organization that advocates for animal welfare.

The bill which is expected to be ready before the year ends will borrow heavily on existing laws especially Cap 360 on the cruelty of animals and is expected to improve the welfare of animals,” Cheruiyot.

The bill is expected to focus on five animal freedoms including freedom from hunger; freedom from fear and distress; freedom from pain injury and disease; freedom to express normal behavior as well as freedom from discomfort.

Dr Victor Yamo, the humane and sustainable agriculture campaigns said that some international companies have made a commitment to ensure meaningful improvements to the lives of chickens. Some of these brands include Carrefour, Burger King, Subway and Dominos.

Farm animal welfare is riding high on the consumer agenda hence poor animal welfare along the supply chain of leading global food companies cannot be ignored. We expect higher standards of living for farm animals that ensure the animals have a good life, free from pain, fear, boredom and frustration from these companies,” said Dr Yamo.

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