The government, through The Livestock (Poultry Industry) Regulations 2023, seeks to regulate poultry breeding in commercial and subsistence production.
Poultry, in the proposal uploaded online by the Ministry of Agriculture, comprises poultry products, chicken, duck, ostrich, goose, turkey, quail, pigeon, guinea fowl and any wild bird domesticated for human consumption, commercial or other purposes.
Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi, via a gazette notice, may declare any other bird as poultry.
According to the documents, any farmer who commits an offence under the regulations shall be liable upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding Ksh500,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year or to both.
A photo of the KC3 breeds of kienyeji chicken.
Among the objectives the government seeks to achieve is organising and improving coordination of the poultry industry, registering poultry, the breeders and any relevant associations formed.
It also wants to increase production and productivity of safe and quality poultry and poultry products and encourage safe handling, storage, value addition and efficient distribution of poultry products.
In the regulations, farmers will register their birds, including chicken, and provide the details upon request. A Livestock Inputs and Products Regulatory Authority will also be formed to track all registers, including manual and digital.
A poultry operator may be registered by the County Government where located, while a poultry operator keeping birds for commercial purposes shall
keep a register of poultry in a specified form.
A poultry operator keeping birds for purposes other than commercial purposes may also keep a register of their registered poultry in a specified form.
It further adds that “A person shall not conduct any business as a dealer in poultry equipment unless they are registered and has a certificate of registration, and holds a current license issued by the Authority to operate as such.
“The Authority shall charge such fee for registration and licensing as the Cabinet Secretary shall approve. Any person that contravenes this Regulation commits an offence.”
Role of Farmers, Breeders, Producers and Processors
The aforementioned persons are required to keep clean and, where necessary after cleaning, disinfect in an appropriate manner equipment, containers, crates and vehicles used for producing, preparing, grading, packing, storing and transporting poultry and poultry products.
They are also required to use clean water and prevent, as far as possible, animals and pests from causing hazardous contamination to equipment.
A chicken farm in Kenya
Other requirements are to store and handle wastes and hazardous substances separately and securely so as to prevent contamination of equipment and adhere to any other existing laws as to hygiene and biosecurity of equipment.
Other Key Terminologies Specified in The Livestock (Poultry Industry) Regulations, 2023
Poultry Industry, according to the regulations means any activity that involves the breeding, production, processing, marketing, or distribution of poultry and poultry products.
A Poultry Operator means any farmer, person or organisation engaged in any poultry operation, which is any business undertaking in poultry, whether for business or other purposes and includes poultry breeding, production, buying and selling, processing, storage, transportation and distribution.
Poultry product means a carcass or parts of a carcass of poultry and any product consisting of parts of or derived from poultry, such as eggs.
Kenyans.co.ke reached out to Livestock PS Jonathan Mueke to comment on the regulations. The PS was unavailable for comment by the time of publishing this article.
Recently, the government, via the Animal Production Professionals and Technicians Bill 2023, stipulated a fine of Ksh500,000 or a six-month jail term or both for Kenyans rearing farm animals, including cows and goats, without a licence.