The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) has moved to protect farmers from losses resulting from substandard animal feeds.
In June Emurua-Dikir MP Johanna Ngeno lost his herd of 24 Holstein Friesian cattle worth Sh2.5 million died after feeding on a poisonous imported mineral product.
The lawmaker challenged the Kenya Bureau of Standards to shield farmers from incurring huge losses like himself. "It is devastating for a farmer to lose even a single cow due to the failure by Kenya Bureau of Standards to block the importation of poisonous cattle feeds and other products," he said.
Kebs says twenty-Four Standards to facilitate the production of safe and quality products of animal origin are now available.
The enhanced specifications were developed to support the growing demand for proteins of animal origin which has led to intensified livestock production and subsequent use of selected feed grains and fodder seeds.
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“The Standards will address variety specifications, formulations, and terms used in animal feedstuffs, methods of tests for important quality and safety parameters for oilseed by-products (used as raw materials for animal feeds), fertilisers and cereals/pulses,” says Bernard Njiraini, Managing Director, Kebs.
The Standards will also provide specifications for potato flakes and cottonseed and application of molecular biomarkers for detection of adulteration of food and feed even when the element of detection is present in very small amounts.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the consumption of animal products continues to rise worldwide and has driven demand for animal feed products hence critical to ensure that feed safety is guaranteed across the chain.
Recent contamination episodes have raised attention to the importance of ensuring feed safety and on the need to prevent and control the presence of hazards, such as dioxin, aflatoxins, and other undesirable substances.
The product is imported from Ireland and available at local animal feeds stores.
"The cows began shivering, foaming in the mouth and running wild before dropping dead, one after the other," he said.
The 24 Standards are among the two hundred and forty-three (243) standards approved by KEBS to support growth in food and agriculture, housing and construction, healthcare as well as general manufacturing sectors as the country fights Coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Application of the standards will aid industrial advancement and strengthen the country’s progress in sectors critical to the growth of our economy. They will give the much-needed boost, as industries face unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, by providing solutions that address quality and sustainability issues,” adds Njiraini