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Saturday,June 06,2020 04:29 AM

Poor use causing drug resistance in animals

By Prossy Nandudu

Added 25th January 2017 10:33 AM

The problem has further been exacerbated by the fact that there is a small number of trained veterinary doctors in the country

The problem has further been exacerbated by the fact that there is a small number of trained veterinary doctors in the country

Poor use of animal drugs by farmers is to blame for the increased resistance to drugs in most animal diseases with the most common being ticks that cause a wide range of diseases to livestock.

As a result almost all parts of the country are reporting that ticks are resistant to accaricides.

The observation was made by Prof. Lawrance Mugisha from the Department of Wildlife and Aquatic Resources at Makerere University who is also the general secretary of the Uganda Veterinary Association (UVA).

The problem has further been exacerbated by the fact that there is a small number of trained veterinary doctors in the country, denying many farmers quality animal health care services according to Mugisha.

This was during the UVA annual general meeting that closed on Friday at Hotel Africana in Kampala, under the theme ‘Strengthening the Relationship and Networks between Veterinary Professionals for improved Animal Health and Production Service Delivery'.

Mugisha said at the moment there are not enough veterinarians; the few that are available are not well distributed to all parts of the country.

He added that those at district level are mainly doing advisory work but are forced to offer other services in animal health yet they may not be having that experience as well.

"The consequences are that when you don't get the right people to offer the service, it creates a gap where non trained personnel including farmers become experts in treating their livestock. When you have people with no training, they will not administer the right dosage, don't know how to mix the accaricides among others" said Mugisha.

He said these are some of the areas the association is focusing on this year by looking out for partners including government to make sure those policy interventions are in place to help streamline the sector.

He added that the partnerships especially with government could help in areas of regulating the profession which has been infiltrated by non-professionals in addition to ensuring that the veterinary board that has not been working for the last five years is put in place.

"If the animals are not well looked after, we shall not even benefit from the regional beef market and the beef processing plants being set up in Uganda will have no choice but import livestock denying Ugandan farmers a chance to earn from their livestock," he added.

The three day meeting was aimed at providing an opportunity for veterinary practitioners to come together and share challenges, successes and cement a working relationship between animal health workers and the veterinary doctors to deliver services.

Dominic Venture Mundrugo Ogo Lali, who is the president of the association, said the sector is faced with challenges such as ineffective extension services, high cost of services, increased adulteration and limited availability of key inputs, heavy livestock losses to diseases and pests, low and inadequate physical and marketing infrastructure, insufficient  standards, food safety and quality assurance.

"We are trying to examine ways of working together to provide quality services to ensure that we guarantee the quality of livestock products like meat and milk that come on the market" he said.

He said the sector is faced with challenges such as poor breeds, failure to control diseases spread due to movement of cattle in search of pasture and water hence increasing the spread of diseases among others.

Currently there is a cattle population of more than 11 million heads of cattle, compared to 6 million heads of cattle 10 years ago.

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