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Dealers In Contaminated Animal Feeds To Face Five Years In Jail

Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for Agriculture

Government has proposed a fine of Shs5M or jail term of 5years for anyone found liable of dealing in adulterated or contaminated animal feeds.

The proposal is contained in the Animal Feeds Bill 2023, that was tabled before Parliament by the Minister of Agriculture, Animal  Industry and Fisheries, Frank Tumwebaze, who asked Parliament to outlaw sale of contaminated animal feeds

In clause 29(3) Government that; Any person who adulterates or contaminates animal feeds commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred fifty currency points or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years, or both.

According to Minister Tumwebaze, The Animal Feeds Bill seeks to provide the legislative framework for the operationalization of the Animal Feeds Policy by regulating the production, importation, exportation and marking of animal feeds and by establishing the Animal Feeds Committee to regulate the production, importation, exportation and marking of animal feeds.

“The productivity of livestock in Uganda is low due to; the prevalence of animal diseases, inadequate nutrition for the animals especially the low legume and protein content, the scarcity of water in the semi-arid areas, the lack of facilities for the storage and processing of animal feeds, the lack of laboratory facilities and the lack of information, knowledge and skills on animal feeds production amongst other factors,” notes Minister Tumwebaze.

The Ministry of Agriculture further stated that inadequate animal nutrition was identified as one of the factors that limit Uganda’s production of livestock products, and animal feeds account for 70% of the production costs and therefore have a significant effect on the production costs and the profits.

Government stated, “The level of nutrition influences the infection rates and disease resistance in animals and the low level of nutrition is therefore part of the reason for the low livestock and poultry performance in Uganda. It is therefore necessary to upgrade the animal industry and to give priority to agricultural development, in general, within the framework of private sector promotion and development.”

In clause 8, Government has proposed mandatory licensing of production, storage, transportation and sale of animal upon payment of fees prescribed by Regulations made under this Act and shall be valid for a year from the date of issue.

The Ministry of Agriculture further proposed in clause 8(6) to have any person who produces, stores, transports or sells animal feeds without a valid licence to be held liable on conviction- (a) in a case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding one hundred currency points equivalent to Shs2M or a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both; or (b) in case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding two hundred currency points about Shs4M.

In clause 11, Government has set up modalities to be followed before anyone can import animal feeds including the need to apply for an import permit and this should be done at least ten working days before the animal feeds is imported.

In clause 11(7) the Ministry proposed that; A person who imports animal feeds contrary to this section commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding two hundred currency points (Shs4M) or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one years, or both.

The Ministry of Agriculture has also proposed procedures to be followed for anyone with interest in dealing in the exportation of animal feeds, requiring these individuals to apply for a sanitary certificate, at least ten working days before the animal feeds is exported.

However, in clause 12(5) to have a person who exports animal feeds contrary to this section to be held is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding two hundred currency points (Shs4M) or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year or both.

Government in clause 17 (1) is made a proposal barring any person from importing or producing animal feeds which contains veterinary drugs or hormones, without the approval of the National Drugs Authority.

The Ministry of Agriculture in clause 17(4) has proposed to bar a person from importing or producing locally, animal feeds which contains veterinary drugs or hormones contrary to this section and anyone found doing so would be held liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred currency points (Shs4M) or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.

Government also proposed that in addition to the penalty provided above, Court may order for the destruction of the animal feeds that contains veterinary drugs or hormones, at the expense of the importer or producer of the animal feeds.

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