Vision 2030 recognizes livestock development as a key player in national development. However, the performance of this sector is sometimes hampered by unethical practices where quacks and unqualified persons offer wrong and substandard services without regard to professionalism and animal welfare.
Such unprofessionalism puts to risk, according to the latest livestock census, an industry comprising of the country’s 3.35 million exotic cattle, 14.11 million indigenous cattle, 44.87 million sheep and goats, 2.97 million camels, 0.33 million pigs, 1.83 million donkeys and 31.82 million poultry. This is a huge livestock resource which could contribute immensely to national development.
To effectively exploit the resource, competent and professional animal health service provision is critical. The minimum level of animal health and veterinary qualification and the quality of training need to be assured. It is the mandate of the KVB to regulate this sector in order to protect the welfare of farmers, the professionals, other stakeholders and the animals as stated in the Veterinary Surgeons and Veterinary Paraprofessionals [VSVP] Act, 2011.
The Kenya Veterinary Board (KVB) as currently constituted is created by the new Veterinary Surgeons’ and Veterinary Para-professionals (VSVP) Act No. 29 of 2011 which was assented to by the President of the Republic of Kenya on 16th September 2011 and took effect on 2nd December 2011 after gazettement (Legal Notice No. 183 of 28-11-2011) by the Minister for Livestock Development. The Board was launched on 14th February 2012 in accordance with the provisions of Section 4 (1) of the VSVP Act. The VSVP Act, which now provides for registration of both Veterinary surgeons and Veterinary Para-professionals, replaced the almost 60 year old Veterinary Surgeons’ Act (Cap 366) of 1953, which provided for registration of Veterinary Surgeons only.
The current KVB is established by section 3 of the VSVP Act, 2011. Its membership, as required by section 4 of the Act, consists of an administrative member from the Ministry of livestock and the Ministry of finance. Other members include the Director of Veterinary Services, a Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of a public university in Kenya, a veterinary surgeon who is a principal of a veterinary paraprofessional training institute, 4 elected registered veterinary surgeons, 3 elected veterinary para-professionals, the chairperson of the Kenya Veterinary Association, 1 representative of veterinary research institutions; 1 veterinary surgeon or veterinary paraprofessional representative of the Kenya Wildlife sector, and 2 persons who are not veterinary surgeons or veterinary paraprofessionals.