The government, through The Livestock (Poultry Industry) Regulations 2023, seeks to regulate poultry breeding in commercial and subsistence production.
According to the new proposal published by the Ministry of Agriculture, poultry includes any wild bird that has been tamed for human food, trade, or other uses, as well as poultry products, chicken, duck, ostrich, goose, turkey, quail, pigeon, and guinea hens.
Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi, via a gazette notice, may declare any other bird as poultry.
The new regulations state that any farmer found guilty of violating the restrictions faces a maximum fine of Ksh500,000, a maximum sentence of one year in jail, or both.
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.
Additionally, it seeks to promote the safe handling, storage, value-adding, and effective distribution of chicken products in addition to raising productivity and production levels of high-quality, safe poultry and poultry products.
Farmers are required by law to register all of their birds, including chickens, and to give the information upon request.
Additionally, a Livestock Inputs and Products Regulatory Authority will be established to oversee all registers, both digital and manual.
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.”