Rwanda Veterinary Council has pledged to tighten the inspection so as to weed out those who masquerade as veterinary doctors, which has led to tragic consequences.
This follows an incident in Nyagatare District last Saturday where a farmer lost over 120 livestock after they were vaccinated by a quack veterinarian.
The farmer identified as Sheikh Abdul Aziz Uwase lost 62 goats and 59 sheep.
Dr. Alphonse Nshimiyimana, the Executive Secretary of the Council said that they are working with security organs to hunt down the suspect, who is said to be on the run.
“We are tightening inspection to assess if all people carrying out veterinary work have the requisite requirements For instance, the person who immunized the animals in Nyagatare didn’t even complete high school,” he said.
Last week, the council said that there are also those who forge university degrees to gain admission as members of the council.
“Last month, we inspected the City of Kigali where we found other cases of veterinarians who provided wrong services and we have decided that they themselves compensate the farmers,” he said.
He added; “last week we inspected Western Province and currently, the inspection is being carried out in Northern Province and we are continuing with other provinces.”
He said that going forward, the council has decided to decentralize veterinary services whereby veterinary doctors and inspectors will be operating in zones.
“Categories of veterinary services include disease prevention and treating animals, pharmacies, animal reproduction services such as insemination, hygiene and wild animal conservation. This means each service will be delivered by a qualified veterinarian deployed to respective zones,” he said.
The council says that there is need of at least five veterinarians in every sector but it would be more effective if there is at least one vet at every village.
“We need private sector involvement so that veterinary services get closer to farmers,” he said.
The council said the idea of having Community Animal Health Workers is also being piloted in the effort to decentralize veterinary services.
Dr. Charles Nkuranga, the Chairperson of the council who said he had been to Nyagatare where the incident took place, urged all farmers to demand license cards from all those that come to them saying they do veterinary work.
The cards are renewed every year.
However, he said, the council would summon supervisors at sector level who did not act, even after they got wind of the masquerader.
“We established that the suspect has also been carrying out surgery yet he was not even qualified as a basic vet. Residents are working with Rwanda Agriculture Board to compensate the Nyagatare farmer but the criminal has vanished,” he said.