Busia bans meat from Uganda over hygiene

A butcher displays meat at a shop in Kisii. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

The Busia County government has banned meat imports from Uganda due to hygiene risks and the near collapse of the Sh7.8 million Busia Municipal slaughterhouse.

The ministries of Agriculture and Public Health attribute the slaughterhouse’s decline, the spread of animal diseases, and revenue loss to the importation of cheaper cow, goat, and sheep meat from the neighbouring country.

Agriculture Chief Officer Timothy Odende said the slaughterhouse has been operating below capacity.

According to Mr Odende, the county invested Sh2.8 million to renovate the facility, which had been non-operational for a year due to a lack of raw materials, as illegal Ugandan meat flooded the market.

“It’s sad that most of our slaughterhouses have closed while some have remained deserted with a handful struggling to operate, he said.

The officer revealed that the slaughterhouse, once capable of processing 300 cattle daily, now handles only 10.

The county, he added, faces significant revenue loss, with 90 per cent of meat processing taking place in Uganda.

Director of Veterinary Services Allan Ogendo issued a stern warning against violating the meat import ban at porous border points.

“Those who will be found will have to take responsibility because we are doing this to protect the health of our people,” he said.

Calvin Ninga, the meat inspector in charge of the slaughterhouse, said that the county government’s investment in the slaughterhouse will address hygiene challenges.

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